Evaluation of postnatal arteriogenesis and angiogenesis in a mouse model of hind-limb ischemia

Nat Protoc. 2009;4(12):1737-46. doi: 10.1038/nprot.2009.185. Epub 2009 Nov 5.


Blood vessel growth in adult organisms involves the following two fundamental processes: angiogenesis, the proliferation and extension of capillary networks; and arteriogenesis, the growth of functional arteries. We provide a protocol for the evaluation of postnatal arteriogenesis and angiogenesis in a mouse model of hind-limb ischemia. Surgical ligation of the femoral artery at a specific site triggers arteriogenesis of small, pre-existing collateral arteries into functional conduit vessels proximally and ischemic angiogenesis distally. The vascular response to hind-limb ischemia can be readily evaluated by laser Doppler-based perfusion measurements, histological quantification of arteriogenesis and angiogenesis or whole-mount visualization of arteries in limb muscles. Depending on the experimental design, the protocol takes between 4 and 29 d to complete; however, the net working time is about 2 d per mouse. The concurrent and specific analysis of postnatal angiogenesis and arteriogenesis in the same animal is a unique feature of the protocol.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Femoral Artery / growth & development*
  • Femoral Artery / pathology
  • Femoral Artery / surgery
  • Foot / blood supply
  • Foot / pathology
  • Ischemia / physiopathology*
  • Laser-Doppler Flowmetry
  • Lower Extremity / blood supply*
  • Lower Extremity / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*
  • Perfusion Imaging / methods