In Vitro Assays of Angiogenesis for Assessment of Angiogenic and Anti-Angiogenic Agents

Microvasc Res. Sep-Nov 2007;74(2-3):172-83. doi: 10.1016/j.mvr.2007.05.006. Epub 2007 Jun 6.


Blood vessels, either in insufficient numbers or in excess, contribute to the pathogenesis of many diseases. Agents that stimulate angiogenesis can improve blood flow in patients with ischemic diseases, whereas anti-angiogenic agents are used to treat disorders ranging from macular degeneration to cancer. In this review I describe in vitro assays that can be used to assess the activity of agents that affect angiogenesis. Means of quantifying endothelial cell matrix degradation, migration, proliferation, apoptosis and morphogenesis are discussed, as are embryoid body, aortic ring and metatarsal assays of vessel outgrowth. Strengths and limitations of these techniques are also addressed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inducing Agents / pharmacology*
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Biological Assay
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / drug therapy*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / physiopathology
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / drug effects*


  • Angiogenesis Inducing Agents
  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors