The Fibrin Matrix Regulates Angiogenic Responses within the Hemostatic Microenvironment through Biochemical Control

PLoS One. 2015 Aug 28;10(8):e0135618. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135618. eCollection 2015.


Conceptually, premature initiation of post-wound angiogenesis could interfere with hemostasis, as it relies on fibrinolysis. The mechanisms facilitating orchestration of these events remain poorly understood, however, likely due to limitations in discerning the individual contribution of cells and extracellular matrix. Here, we designed an in vitro Hemostatic-Components-Model (HCM) to investigate the role of the fibrin matrix as protein factor-carrier, independent of its cell-scaffold function. After characterizing the proteomic profile of HCM-harvested matrix releasates, we demonstrate that the key pro-/anti-angiogenic factors, VEGF and PF4, are differentially bound by the matrix. Changing matrix fibrin mass consequently alters the balance of releasate factor concentrations, with differential effects on basic endothelial cell (EC) behaviors. While increasing mass, and releasate VEGF levels, promoted EC chemotactic migration, it progressively inhibited tube formation, a response that was dependent on PF4. These results indicate that the clot's matrix component initially serves as biochemical anti-angiogenic barrier, suggesting that post-hemostatic angiogenesis follows fibrinolysis-mediated angiogenic disinhibition. Beyond their significance towards understanding the spatiotemporal regulation of wound healing, our findings could inform the study of other pathophysiological processes in which coagulation and angiogenesis are prominent features, such as cardiovascular and malignant disease.

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inducing Agents / metabolism
  • Blood Coagulation
  • Cell Movement
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix
  • Fibrin / metabolism*
  • Hemostasis*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / metabolism
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Oxygen
  • Protein Binding
  • Signal Transduction
  • Wound Healing


  • Angiogenesis Inducing Agents
  • Fibrin
  • Oxygen

Grant support

The authors received no specific funding for this work.