Localized arteriole formation directly adjacent to the site of VEGF-induced angiogenesis in muscle

Mol Ther. 2003 Apr;7(4):441-9. doi: 10.1016/s1525-0016(03)00010-8.


We have shown previously that implantation of myoblasts constitutively expressing the VEGF-A gene into nonischemic mouse skeletal muscle leads to overgrowth of capillary-like blood vessels and hemangioma formation. These aberrant effects occurred directly at the implantation site. We show here that these regions result from angiogenic capillary growth and involve a change in capillary growth pattern and that smooth muscle-coated vessels similar to arterioles form directly adjacent to the implantation site. Myoblasts genetically engineered to produce VEGF were implanted into mouse leg muscles. Implantation sites were surrounded by a zone of dense capillary-sized vessels, around which was a second zone of muscle containing larger, smooth-muscle-covered vessels but few capillaries, and an outer zone of muscle exhibiting normal capillary density. The lack of capillaries in the middle region suggests that the preexisting capillaries adjacent to the implantation site underwent enlargement and/or fusion and recruited a smooth muscle coat. Capillaries at the implantation site were frequently wrapped around VEGF-producing muscle fibers and were continuous with the circulation and were not observed to include bone-marrow-derived endothelial cells. In contrast with the distant arteriogenesis resulting from VEGF delivery described in previous studies, we report here that highly localized arterioles also form adjacent to the site of delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arterioles / growth & development
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Hemangioma, Capillary / blood supply
  • Hemangioma, Capillary / etiology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, SCID
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply*
  • Myoblasts / transplantation
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors / genetics*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors / physiology


  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors