Generation and role of angiostatin in human platelets

Blood. 2003 Nov 1;102(9):3217-23. doi: 10.1182/blood-2003-02-0378. Epub 2003 Jul 10.


Platelets regulate new blood vessel growth, because they contain a number of angiogenesis promoters and inhibitors. Additionally, platelets contain matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), which when released mediate platelet adhesion and aggregation, and plasminogen, a fibrinolytic system enzyme that serves to limit blood clot formation. Enzymatic cleavage of plasminogen by MMPs generates angiostatin, an angiogenesis inhibitor. Therefore, we examined whether platelets generate angiostatin during aggregation in vitro. Platelets were isolated from healthy human donors and then aggregated with collagen, thrombin, or HT-1080 fibrosarcoma cells. Angiostatin was detected by Western blot analysis in the platelet releasates of all blood donors irrespective of the aggregating agent used. Platelet pellet homogenates showed the presence of angiostatin in all donors, which was released upon aggregation. Furthermore, platelet-derived angiostatin was isolated and purified by lysine-Sepharose affinity chromatography from collagen-aggregated platelet releasates. Bioassay of platelet-derived angiostatin showed that it inhibited the formation of capillary structures by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUV-EC-Cs) in an in vitro angiogenesis model. Inhibition of angiostatin in platelet releasates promoted the formation of capillary structures by HUV-EC-Cs. We conclude that healthy human platelets contain angiostatin, which is released in active form during platelet aggregation, and platelet-derived angiostatin has the capacity to inhibit angiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / biosynthesis
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / isolation & purification
  • Angiostatins / biosynthesis*
  • Angiostatins / isolation & purification
  • Angiostatins / physiology*
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Blood Platelets / physiology
  • Blotting, Western
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Collagen
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Platelet Aggregation / physiology
  • Umbilical Veins / cytology


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Angiostatins
  • Collagen