Angiogenesis in interstitial lung diseases: a pathogenetic hallmark or a bystander?

Respir Res. 2006 May 25;7(1):82. doi: 10.1186/1465-9921-7-82.


The past ten years parallels have been drawn between the biology of cancer and pulmonary fibrosis. The unremitting recruitment and maintenance of the altered fibroblast phenotype with generation and proliferation of immortal myofibroblasts is reminiscent with the transformation of cancer cells. A hallmark of tumorigenesis is the production of new blood vessels to facilitate tumor growth and mediate organ-specific metastases. On the other hand several chronic fibroproliferative disorders including fibrotic lung diseases are associated with aberrant angiogenesis. Angiogenesis, the process of new blood vessel formation is under strict regulation determined by a dual, yet opposing balance of angiogenic and angiostatic factors that promote or inhibit neovascularization, respectively. While numerous studies have examined so far the interplay between aberrant vascular and matrix remodeling the relative role of angiogenesis in the initiation and/or progression of the fibrotic cascade still remains elusive and controversial. The current article reviews data concerning the pathogenetic role of angiogenesis in the most prevalent and studied members of ILD disease-group such as IIPs and sarcoidosis, presents some of the future perspectives and formulates questions for potential further research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Angiogenic Proteins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lung / blood supply*
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / drug therapy
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / metabolism*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism*
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / drug therapy
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / drug therapy
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / metabolism
  • Sarcoidosis, Pulmonary / pathology


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Angiogenic Proteins