We have previously shown that tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), which is an important angiogenesis-related factor, was over-secreted in male BALB/c mice under social isolation stress as compared with the control, and closely associated with a remarkable elevation of tumor invasion and metastasis of colon 26-L5 carcinoma cells. In the present study, we explored the effect of isolation stress on the angiogenesis caused by colon 26-L5 carcinoma cells in vivo and in vitro. Social isolation lead to the enhancement of tumor growth after intrahepatic implantation with a fragment of colon 26-L5 tumor. Angiogenic response (number of vessels oriented towards tumor mass) and tumor growth (size) were significantly increased in the socially isolated mouse relative to that in the group-housed mice. Furthermore, higher protein level of hepatic TNF-alpha was found in the stressed mice than that in the control. Expression of mRNA for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) were also elevated in the tumor regions and liver tissues of the stressed mice in comparison with that in group-housed mice. On the other hand, hepatic sinusoidal endothelial (HSE) cells treated with TNF-alpha exhibited a marked promotion of the migration, invasion, expression of mRNA for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, and tube-like formation, but no cytotoxicity against the cells in vitro. The above data suggest that the social isolation stress augmented the tumor-induced angiogenesis probably by up-regulating the angiogenesis-related factors, including TNF-alpha, VEGF and HGF, and consequently mediating the functions of endothelial cells such as migration, invasion, and tube-like formation.