Pericytes are an integral component of blood capillaries, but their involvement in a variety of conditions and diseases, including hypertension and multiple sclerosis, is poorly understood. In order to analyze the mRNA expression of markers related to hypertension and multiple sclerosis in rat brain pericytes, we have established brain capillary pericyte cell lines from temperature-sensitive SV40 large T antigen transgenic rats. The newly established clones showed similar biochemical and morphological properties to primary pericytes. The expression of endothelial cell-related markers Flt-1, Flk-1, Tie-1, and Tie-2 was evaluated by RT-PCR analysis. β2-Adrenergic receptor (β2-AR), angiotensin II receptor type1A (AT1A), and klotho were also evaluated as markers related to hypertension and multiple sclerosis. All of the isolated clones expressed β2-AR, AT1A and klotho genes. They also stably expressed Flt-1 and Tie-2, while Flk-1, Tie-1 and CXCR4 were expressed only at low levels in some of the clones. The expressions of AT1 in TR-PCT1 were determined by Western blotting. Angiotensin II stimulated migration of pericytes. This effect was blocked by an AT1 antagonist. The pericyte cell lines established here are pluripotent, and should be useful for analysis of the reactivity and biological roles of pericytes.
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