Angiogenesis--a new target for future therapy

Vascul Pharmacol. 2006 May;44(5):265-74. doi: 10.1016/j.vph.2006.01.005. Epub 2006 Mar 20.


Development of blood vessels from in situ differentiating endothelial cells (EC) is called vasculogenesis, whereas sprouting of new blood vessels from the pre-existing ones is termed angiogenesis or neovascularisation. Angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels, is essential during tissue repair, foetal development, and female reproductive cycle. In contrast, uncontrolled angiogenesis promotes tumor and retinopathies, while inadequate angiogenesis can lead to coronary artery disease. A balance between pro-angiogenic and anti-angiogenic growth factors and cytokines tightly controls angiogenesis. With the identification of several proangiogenic molecules such as the vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF), the fibroblast growth factors (FGFs), and the angiopoietins, and the recent description of specific inhibitors of angiogenesis such as platelet factor-4, angiostatin, endostatin, and vasostatin, it is recognized that therapeutic interference with vasculature formation offers a tool for clinical applications in various pathologies. Inhibition of angiogenesis can prevent diseases such as cancer, diabetic nephropathy, arthritis, psoriasis, whereas stimulation of angiogenesis is beneficial in the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD), cardiac failure, tissue injury, etc. One of the most specific and critical regulators of angiogenesis is vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which regulates endothelial proliferation, permeability, and survival. Substantial evidence also implicates VEGF as an angiogenic mediator in tumors and intraocular neovascular syndromes, and numerous clinical trials are presently testing the hypothesis that inhibition of VEGF may have therapeutic value.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adiponectin / metabolism
  • Adiponectin / therapeutic use
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Angiogenic Proteins / metabolism
  • Angiogenic Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Angiogenic Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lung / blood supply*
  • Lung / drug effects
  • Lung / growth & development
  • Myocardial Ischemia / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / blood supply*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / prevention & control*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / drug effects*
  • Obesity / drug therapy
  • Obesity / metabolism
  • Psoriasis / drug therapy
  • Psoriasis / metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors / pharmacology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors / therapeutic use
  • Wound Healing / drug effects


  • Adiponectin
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Angiogenic Proteins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors