The role of the extracellular matrix in angiogenesis in malignant glioma tumors

Brain Pathol. 2005 Oct;15(4):318-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3639.2005.tb00117.x.


Angiogenesis is a promising target for the development of effective strategies for the treatment of malignant brain tumors in that it has the potential to starve large tumors and prevent the regrowth of residual margins. Two critical steps in angiogenesis, the proliferation of activated endothelial cells and their migration into the perivascular space (sprouting), require adherence of the endothelial cells to the extracellular matrix (ECM). Thus, the availability of the appropriate ligands within the ECM contributes to the regulation of angiogenesis. In addition, several components of the ECM can act through other mechanisms to further promote angiogenesis or inhibit it. Current evidence suggests that the regulation of angiogenesis is a dynamic process in which the endothelial cells can promote angiogenesis by secreting proteases that remodel the ECM, tumor cells can further promote angiogenesis by secreting ECM components and actively remodeling their environment, and stromal cells may respond to angiogenesis associated with tumors and inflammatory reactions by secreting inhibitory molecules. Here, we provide a critical review of the protein and proteoglycan components of the ECM that have been implicated in angiogenesis with an emphasis on their role in promoting or inhibiting angiogenesis in brain tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Brain Neoplasms / pathology
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / chemistry
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology*
  • Glioma / blood supply*
  • Glioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / physiopathology*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Proteoglycans / metabolism


  • Proteins
  • Proteoglycans