Basic fibroblast growth factor induces angiogenesis in vitro

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986 Oct;83(19):7297-301. doi: 10.1073/pnas.83.19.7297.


Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are potent mitogens for vascular and capillary endothelial cells in vitro and can stimulate the formation of blood capillaries (angiogenesis) in vivo. A crucial event in this process is the invasion of the perivascular extracellular matrix by sprouting endothelial cells. Using a recently developed in vitro model of angiogenesis, we show here that highly purified basic pituitary FGF can induce capillary endothelial cells to invade a three-dimensional collagen matrix and to organize themselves to form characteristic tubules that resemble blood capillaries. We also show that basic FGF concomitantly stimulates endothelial cells to produce a urokinase-type plasminogen activator, a protease that has been implicated in the neovascular response. The results demonstrate that basic FGF can stimulate processes that are characteristic of angiogenesis in vivo, including endothelial cell migration, invasion, and production of plasminogen activator.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capillaries / cytology
  • Cattle
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen
  • Endothelium / physiology*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / pharmacology*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic*
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator / biosynthesis


  • Fibroblast Growth Factors
  • Collagen
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator