A thrombospondin-mimetic peptide, ABT-898, suppresses angiogenesis and promotes follicular atresia in pre- and early-antral follicles in vivo

Endocrinology. 2010 Dec;151(12):5905-15. doi: 10.1210/en.2010-0283. Epub 2010 Sep 29.


Using a novel in vitro angiogenesis assay, we previously showed that thrombospondin (TSP)-1 has antiangiogenic effects on rat follicles and induces apoptosis in granulosa cells in vitro. ABT-898 is an octapeptide mimetic of TSP-1 closely related to ABT-510. Here, we demonstrate the inhibitory effects of ABT-898 on follicular angiogenesis and its proapoptotic effect on granulosa cells. To investigate the potential of this peptide to inhibit follicular angiogenesis in vivo, marmoset monkeys were treated with 2.5 mg/kg ABT-898 twice daily throughout the follicular phase of the cycle. Although treatment did not block emergence of dominant follicles, angiogenesis was reduced in preantral and early-antral follicles. Furthermore, the incidence of atresia at these follicle stages was increased. To investigate whether treatment with ABT-898 would interfere with the timing or duration of the normal ovulatory rise in plasma progesterone, marmosets were treated with a depot formulation containing 25 mg ABT-898 at the start of the follicular phase, with a second injection after 2 wk. Despite active concentrations of peptide being maintained in the circulation, no apparent effects on the ovulatory cycle were observed. Taken together, these results indicate that ABT-898 is capable of having a dual effect by inhibiting follicular angiogenesis and promoting atresia of antral follicles in vivo but does not prevent ovulation or induce luteolysis, as has been observed with direct vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitors. These results suggest that ABT-898 could be a novel therapeutic to inhibit abnormal angiogenesis and induce atresia of accumulated follicles in polycystic ovary syndrome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Callithrix
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Female
  • Follicular Atresia / drug effects*
  • Follicular Atresia / physiology
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / drug effects*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacology*
  • Ovarian Follicle / drug effects*
  • Ovarian Follicle / physiology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Thrombospondins / pharmacology*


  • Oligopeptides
  • Thrombospondins
  • acetyl-glycyl-valyl-allo-isoleucyl-seryl-glutaminyl-isoleucyl-arginyl-prolyl-cysteinamide