Essay about Pericytes and Vasculature

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II. Pericytes and vasculature
The role of normal vasculature is to provide tissues and organs with blood supply and nutrients. Pericytes are elongated fairly undifferentiated mural cells that line the arterioles and epithelium outside the basement membrane. Endothelial cells shape the lining of the vascular tube, while, mural cells associate with the exterior of the tube. Pericytes are involved in the regulation of blood flow and the transformation of new blood vessels. Typically, pericytes colocalize with capillaries and they play an important role in the process of vascular maturation and stabilization. Classified as either smooth muscle cells or pericytes, mural cells are identified based on the types of vessels they are
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G protein-coupled receptor signaling is thought to be inhibited by the up-regulation of RGS-5 in the course of vascular maturation. RGS5 possibly inhibits GPCR signaling by accelerating the transition state of Gα subunits from the active GTP to the inactive GDP-bound state causing pericytes to be less receptive to chemokine signaling [2, 3].

III. Angiogenesis in Cancer
Angiogenesis is a vital process for sustained growth and development in the human body. In its normal state angiogenesis is tightly synchronized and spurs new blood vessels in orderly matrices. However, in cancer the process of angiogenesis is unregulated and can result in an aberrant network of blood vessels within a solid tumor. These changes in vasculature greatly affect the tumor microenvironment and landscaping within the tumor that ultimately dictate a tumor’s progression and response to anticancer therapy. Like weeds, tumor cells have the capacity to more aggressively proliferate than the cells that form blood capillaries; the rapid proliferation of tumor cells forces vessels apart. The disordered vascular network in solid tumors is characterized by irregular blood flow due to blood vessel breakdown and obstruction. In addition, the aberrant vascular remodeling and the lack of functional lymphatics in tumors is the basis for raised interstitial fluid pressure (IFP). The composition and structure of the extracellular matrix (ECM) can reduce the speed of

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