Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from pre--existing ones, is central for both normal development and homeostasis as well as in certain pathological conditions. The vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) and their receptors are prime regulators of both physiological and pathological angiogenesis. The different VEGFs have overlapping but specific roles in controlling the growth of new blood vessels. The VEGF receptors transduce signals mediating endothelial cell proliferation, migration, organization into functional vessels and remodeling of the vessel network. In recent years, rapid progress has been made in understanding the receptor-ligand interactions that orchestrate the neovascularization process.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.