Macrophages and angiogenesis: a role for Wnt signaling

Vasc Cell. 2012 Aug 31;4(1):13. doi: 10.1186/2045-824X-4-13.


Macrophages regulate many developmental and pathological processes in both embryonic and adult tissues, and recent studies have shown a significant role in angiogenesis. Similarly, Wnt signaling is fundamental to tissue morphogenesis and also has a role in vascular development. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the field of macrophage-regulated angiogenesis, with a focus on the role of macrophage-derived Wnt ligands. We review data that provide both direct and indirect evidence for macrophage-derived Wnt regulation of physiologic and pathologic angiogenesis. Finally, we propose that Wnt signaling plays a central role in differentiation of tumor associated and wound infiltrating macrophages to a proangiogenic phenotype.