Regulation of blood flow in the central nervous system is located at small vessels and linked to a protein

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April 16, 2018
Adriana Di Polo and Luis Alarcon-Martinez

Another great progress made by a postdoctoral fellow at CRCHUM. Luis Alarcon-Martinez, under the supervision of Adriana Di Polo, CRCHUM researcher and professor in the Department of Neuroscience of the University of Montreal, and Professors Dalkara and Yemisci from the University of Hacettepe, contributed to the publication of these important results from their work that explain the mechanisms responsible for regulating blood flow in the central nervous system.

Luis Alarcon-Martinez and his collaborators have conclusively demonstrated that pericytes, the cells surrounding the small vessels or capillaries in the retina, contain a protein called a-SMA. This protein can control the diameter of the small blood vessels by contracting. This discovery proves that pericytes have the necessary molecular components to modify the diameter of small vessels, and therefore control the blood flow at capillary level. 

The article Capillary pericytes express α-smooth muscle actin, which requires prevention of filamentous-actin depolymerization for detection written by Luis Alarcon-Martinez and collaborators, was published on March 21, 2018 in the journal eLife.


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