A review of telocytes in cardiovascular tissue and their role in angiogenesis
Telocytes are interstitial cells characterized by small cell bodies with very long and slender processes extending from them. They are present in most tissues and are most commonly found in close association with nerves, smooth muscle and microvascular networks in tissue interstitial space. Telocytes maintain tissue homeostasis in various ways including modulation of electrical activity, regulation of stem cell proliferation and angiogenesis. The role of telocytes in blood vessels stems from a structural and functional coupling to vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells. This review explores the distribution of telocytes in cardiovascular tissues, their mechanisms in angiogenesis and application of this property in tissue regeneration. The literature search was conducted on PubMedTM, Science directTM and African Journals Online databases as well as Google ScholarTM search engines. The keywords used in the literature search included ‘telocytes’, ‘cardiovascular telocytes’, ‘blood vessel’, ‘cardiac tissue’, ‘(neo-)angiogenesis’ and ‘tissue regeneration’. Articles which contained the keywords and relevant citations from their reference lists were included in the study. In conclusion, telocytes display close structural relationship with cardiovascular tissues. They play an angiogenesis inducing role which may be explored as a therapeutic target in tissue repair and regeneration.
Keywords : cardiovascular telocytes, interstitial Cajal-like cell, regeneration, angiogenesis