We have previously shown that human pre-invasive diseases of the breast are angiogenic. In addition, normal epithelium from women with coincident or subsequent invasive breast cancer is more vascular than normal epithelium from women with no breast cancer. To develop a model in which to study the regulation of angiogenesis in pre-invasive mammary pathologies, we examined 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-induced rat mammary tissues for the presence of neovascularization in pre-invasive histopathologies. These studies included morphometric analysis of tissue vascularity in pre-invasive lesions. In addition, we isolated fresh tumors and histologically normal epithelium (organoids) from DMBA or vehicle-treated control rats to test their ability to induce endothelial cell tubule formation in vitro. Finally, we examined tumors for their ability to produce vascular endothelial cell growth factor. The morphometric studies documented that with epithelial progression, the ability of individual cells to elicit angiogenesis increases. The in vitro studies showed that isolated tumors from these animals stimulate angiogenesis. Furthermore, normal epithelium from DMBA-treated rats is more angiogenic than epithelium from control animals. Finally, DMBA-induced tumors produce vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA, therefore, DMBA-induced mammary tumorigenesis is one model in which to test the dependency of progression on angiogenesis.