The role of fibroblast growth factors in vascular development

Trends Mol Med. 2002 Oct;8(10):483-9. doi: 10.1016/s1471-4914(02)02394-8.


Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are considered angiogenic factors, yet the exact relationship between FGF and vascular development in normal and pathological tissue has long remained elusive. However, recent results from gene inactivation and transgenic studies in mice and in culture systems have demonstrated the role of FGFs in vessel assembly and sprouting. FGFs also promote blood-vessel branching and induce lymphangiogenesis. Novel players in FGF-mediated angiogenesis have been identified, such as p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. Tumour angiogenesis is regulated by FGFs directly or indirectly via secondary angiogenesis factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor. The newly established angiogenic role of FGFs makes FGF or molecules targeting FGF and its receptor promising candidates for the development of novel therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / growth & development*
  • Embryo, Mammalian / physiology
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors