Angiogenesis is a key component of bone repair. New blood vessels bring oxygen and nutrients to the highly metabolically active regenerating callus and serve as a route for inflammatory cells and cartilage and bone precursor cells to reach the injury site. Angiogenesis is regulated by a variety of growth factors, notably vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which are produced by inflammatory cells and stromal cells to induce blood vessel in-growth. A variety of studies with transgenic and gene-targeted mice have demonstrated the importance of angiogenesis in fracture healing, and have provided insights into regulatory processes governing fracture angiogenesis. Indeed, in animal models enhancing angiogenesis promotes bone regeneration, suggesting that modifying fracture vascularization could be a viable therapeutic approach for accelerated/improved bone regeneration clinically.
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