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The Physiological Functions Of Central Nervous System Pericytes And A Potential Role In Pain

Nicholas Beazley-Long, Alexandra M Durrant, Matthew N Swift, Lucy F Donaldson

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Central nervous system (CNS) pericytes regulate critical functions of the neurovascular unit in health and disease. CNS pericytes are an attractive pharmacological target for their position within the neurovasculature and for their role in neuroinflammation. Whether the function of CNS pericytes also affects pain states and nociceptive mechanisms is currently not understood. Could it be that pericytes hold the key to pain associated with CNS blood vessel dysfunction? This article reviews recent findings on the important physiological functions of CNS pericytes and highlights how these neurovascular functions could be linked to pain states.