01531-A: Potential Role of Pericytes in Bartonella-induced Vasoproliferation

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $12,744
Edward B Breitschwerdt, DVM; North Carolina State University
December 1, 2010 - November 30, 2011

Sponsor(s): American Water Spaniel Club, Japanese Chin Club of America, Pekingese Charitable Foundation

Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Immunology and Infectious Disease
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Project Summary

In this study we report effect of infection of human vascular pericytes with Bartonella henselae. Pericytes are cells lining the endothelial cells in small blood vessels like capillaries. Endothelial cells and pericytes communicate with each other by direct contact and also via chemical mediators. It is known that pericytes play an important role in tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. Bartonella is the only genus of bacteria that is capable of inducing pathological angiogenesis, leading to the formation of vasoproliferative tumors such as bacillary angiomatosis, peliosis hepatis and verruga peruana. In this study we show that B.henselae can invade the pericytes and cause suppression of pericyte proliferation. B.henselae infection also induce production of VEGF from pericytes. Combined these two factors can promote angiogenesis.


Varanat, M., Maggi, R. G., Linder, K. E., & Breitschwerdt, E. B. (2013). Infection of human brain vascular pericytes (HBVPs) by Bartonella henselae. Medical Microbiology and Immunology, 202(2), 143–151. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00430-012-0279-5

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