Role of chemokines in angiogenesis: CXCL12/SDF-1 and CXCR4 interaction, a key regulator of endothelial cell responses

Microcirculation. 2003 Jun;10(3-4):359-70. doi: 10.1038/


Chemokines are small proteins that act as cell attractants via the activation of G protein-coupled receptors. Chemokines play an important role in several pathophysiological processes such as inflammation and immunity. Many proinflammatory chemokines also support the development of vascular blood supply at the site of inflammation. Similarly, tumor-generated chemokines can contribute to tumor growth by promoting angiogenesis. Recently, significant advances have been made in understanding the contribution of chemokines to the angiogenesis process. This review will discuss first the evidence supporting the direct contribution of different chemokine subfamily members, including CC, CXC, and CX3C chemokines, as positive or negative regulators of the angiogenesis process based on the expression of their cognate receptors on endothelial cells. Additionally, the relationship between classic angiogenic factors and chemokine receptor expression on endothelial cells, and the implications of chemokine production by cancer cells will be analyzed with particular emphasis on the CXCL12/stromal-cell derived factor-1 interaction with CXCR4.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Chemokines / metabolism*
  • Chemokines, CXC / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / pathology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic* / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic* / physiopathology*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / metabolism


  • CXCL12 protein, human
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Chemokines
  • Chemokines, CXC
  • Receptors, CXCR4