Phorbol esters induce angiogenesis in vitro from large-vessel endothelial cells

J Cell Physiol. 1987 Feb;130(2):284-91. doi: 10.1002/jcp.1041300215.


We have shown previously that the tumor promoter phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) induces capillary endothelial cells grown on the surface of three-dimensional collagen gels to invade the underlying matrix as capillary-like tubular structures, a phenomenon mimicking angiogenic processes that occur in vivo (Montesano and Orci: Cell 42:469, 1985). To establish whether the potential to invade the extracellular matrix as capillary-like sprouts is restricted to microvascular endothelial cells or is also shared by large vessel endothelium, we have examined the response to PMA of endothelial cells isolated from the human umbilical vein and the calf pulmonary artery. The results of these experiments show that both types of macrovascular endothelial cells are able to penetrate into collagen gels as vessel-like tubes following treatment with PMA. This demonstrates that endothelial cells derived from large vessels can, in response to appropriate signals, express invasive properties thought to be associated specifically with capillary endothelial cells in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelium / cytology*
  • Endothelium / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Pulmonary Artery / cytology
  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate / pharmacology*
  • Umbilical Veins / cytology


  • Tetradecanoylphorbol Acetate