Regulation of angiogenesis: wound healing as a model

Prog Histochem Cytochem. 2007;42(3):115-70. doi: 10.1016/j.proghi.2007.06.001. Epub 2007 Aug 20.


Normal tissue function requires adequate supply of oxygen through blood vessels. Understanding how blood vessels form is a challenging objective because angiogenesis is vital to many physiological and pathological processes. Unraveling mechanisms of angiogenesis would offer therapeutic options to ameliorate disorders that are currently leading causes of mortality and morbidity, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic inflammatory disorders, diabetic retinopathy, excessive tissue defects, and chronic non-healing wounds. Restoring blood flow to the site of injured tissue is a prerequisite for mounting a successful repair response, and wound angiogenesis represents a paradigmatic model to study molecular mechanisms involved in the formation and remodeling of vascular structures. In particular, repair of skin defects offers an ideal model to analyze angiogenesis due to its easy accessibility to control and manipulate this process. Most of those growth factors, extracellular matrix molecules, and cell types, recently discovered and considered as crucial factors in blood vessel formation, have been identified and analyzed during skin repair and the process of wound angiogenesis. This article will review cellular and molecular mechanisms controlling angiogenesis in cutaneous tissue repair in light of recent reports and data from our laboratories. In this article we will discuss the contribution of growth factors, basement membrane molecules, and mural cells in wound angiogenesis. The article provides a rationale for targeting the angiogenic response in order to modulate the outcome of the healing response.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria
  • Extracellular Matrix / chemistry
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins / metabolism
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Mesoderm / cytology
  • Mesoderm / metabolism
  • Models, Biological*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Skin* / cytology
  • Skin* / metabolism
  • Skin* / microbiology
  • Skin* / pathology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Wound Healing*


  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor