Pericyte Markers




A pericyte is a mesenchymal-like cell, associated with the walls of small blood vessels. As a relatively undifferentiated cell, it serves to support these vessels, but it can differentiate into a fibroblast, smooth muscle cell, or macrophage as well if required. In order to migrate into the interstitium, the pericyte has to break the barrier, formed by the basement membrane, which can be accomplished by fusion with the membrane.




3G5 anglioside Antigen

  • a pericyte-associated antigen, is a pericyte-specific ganglioside marker. PMID: 16959250, PMID: 12674330

  • specific for a pericyte surface ganglioside. PMID: 11950897

  • an excellent and so far the only reported tool for identification of dermal pericytes by fluorescent light microscopy, is a pericyte marker in human skin. PMID: 11426828

  • expressed on the cell surface of microvascular pericytes, is a glycolipid of mobility intermediate between ganglioside markers GM1 and GM2. PMID: 3351433

Alpha-smooth muscle actin (a-SMA)

  • Pericytes of most segments of retinal capillaries are immunoreactive for alpha-smooth muscle actin (SMA). The SMA immunostaining is strong around the nucleus; the endothelial tube is visible by virtue of the slight immunoreactivity of the surrounding pericyte processes. PMID: 12605269

  • Ultrastructural observation and immunohistochemical staining of alpha-SMA are useful in identifying pericytes. The results of this study imply that pericytes may possibly inhibit angiogenesis. PMID: 11866907

  • Of the pericyte markers, alpha-smooth muscle actin was only locally expressed by pericytes in the tumor vasculature. PMID: 1711288

  • Cultured Porcine cerebral microvascular (PCMV) pericytes can be identified with a smooth muscle actin-specific stain. PMID: 2312500


  • Light and electron microscopy immunohistochemical and RNA in situ hybridization analyses revealed that Ang-2 localized at endothelial cells and pericytes, while Ang-1 and VEGF localized at pericytes, and Ang-1 was most intensely observed at EPI of pericytes. PMID: 16969369

  • multimeric angiopoietin-1 is secreted from brain pericyte (TR-PCT1) cells. PMID: 15056293

  • a physiological angiogenesis promoter during embryonic development. The function of Ang1 is essential to endothelial cell survival, vascular branching, and pericyte recruitment. PMID: 14672554

Angiopoietin-2 (Ang2)

  • involved in pericyte recruitment, and modulates intraretinal, and preretinal vessel formation in the eye under physiological and pathological conditions. PMID: 17200776

  • an early marker of the renal pericyte and vascular smooth muscle lineage and is also an epithelial-derived growth factor. PMID: 10820169

  • a new molecular actor involved in vascular tree morphogenesis. PMID: 9536990



  • Pericyte intermediate filament proteins show species and tissue differences, expressing vimentin or vimentin and desmin. PMID: 1802127

  • Developing pericytes were negative for the smooth-muscle isoform of alpha-actin, but were clearly reactive for desmin. PMID: 1283113

  • Coexpression of SM alpha-actin and desmin was observed in the pericytes of entire capillary segments. PMID: 11066040

  • an indicator of pericyte ensheathment. PMID: 15466395

Endosialin (CD248)

  • the pericyte specific marker, is expressed on stromal fibroblasts and CNS pericytes in mouse embryos and is downregulated during development.  PMID: 17225955, PMID: 16965941

NG2 Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan

  • a transmembrane proteoglycan on nascent pericytes with a functional role in neovascularization, is a key pericyte component.  PMID: 16245280, PMID: 15886874

  • expressed by nascent pericytes during the early stages of angiogenesis. PMID: 15609081

  • expressed by microvascular pericytes in newly formed blood vessels. PMID: 15181153

  • not pericyte specific, expressed by all perivascular cells along arterioles, and its absence denotes a venule-specific phenotype. These results identify for the first time a marker that differentiates venous smooth muscle and pericytes from other capillary- and arteriole-associated perivascular cells. PMID: 15824037

  • expressed on tumour neovasculature by vascular pericytes in human malignant brain tumours. PMID: 12366818

  • expressed exclusively by mural cells during vascular morphogenesis, can be used as a mural cell marker. PMID: 11668599



  • a novel marker for pericytes and vascular smooth muscle cells. PMID: 12598306

  • distribution and location of the Rgs5-positive cells typified that of pericytes and strikingly overlapped the known expression pattern of platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR)-beta. PMID: 12514120


  • labelled the pericyte sheath surrounding the post capillary venules and connective tissue elements in lymphoid tissues. PMID: 6119291