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Intraglomerular mesangial cell

Intraglomerular mesangial cells are specialized pericytes located among the glomerular capillaries within a renal corpuscle.

There are three primary functions of intraglomerular mesangial cells: filtration, structural support, and phagocytosis.

Filtration and structure

Glomerular capillaries consist of endothelial cells with large fenestrations, and are therefore very permeable ("leaky") for most solutes in blood plasma.

They provide structural support for and regulate blood flow of the glomerular capillaries by their contractile activity. The initiation of contraction of mesangial cells is similar to that of smooth muscle. Contraction of mesangial cells is coupled by that of basement membrane of the endothelium of glomerular capillaries, causing decrease in surface area of basement membrane. Thus, decreasing glomerular filtration rate.

They are also major contributors to the extracellular matrix which contains fibronectin, type IV collagen, perlecan, and laminin.


Mesangial cells also phagocytose glomerular basal lamina components and immunoglobulins. They are an unusual example of phagocytic cells derived from smooth muscle and not monocytes.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Intraglomerular_mesangial_cell". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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