Using a fibrin-based angiogenesis model, we have established that there is no canonical mechanism used by endothelial cells (ECs) to degrade the surrounding extracellular matrix (ECM), but rather the set of proteases used is dependent on the mural cells providing the angiogenic cues. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) originating from different tissues, which are thought to be phenotypically similar, promote angiogenesis through distinct mechanisms. Specifically, adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) promote utilization of the plasminogen activator-plasmin axis by ECs as the primary means of vessel invasion and elongation in fibrin. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) serve a purpose in regulating capillary diameter and possibly in stabilizing the nascent vessels. These proteolytic mechanisms are more akin to those involved in fibroblast-mediated angiogenesis than to those in bone marrow-derived stem cell (BMSC)-mediated angiogenesis. In addition, expression patterns of angiogenic factors such as urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) were similar for ASC and fibroblast-mediated angiogenesis, and in direct contrast to BMSC-mediated angiogenesis. The present study illustrates that the nature of the heterotypic interactions between mural cells and endothelial cells depend on the identity of the mural cell used. Even MSCs which are shown to behave phenotypically similar do not stimulate angiogenesis via the same mechanisms.