Morphofunctional basis of the different types of angiogenesis and formation of postnatal angiogenesis-related secondary structures

Histol Histopathol. 2017 Dec;32(12):1239-1279. doi: 10.14670/HH-11-923. Epub 2017 Aug 1.


We review the morpho-functional basis of the different types of angiogenesis and report our observations, including the formation of angiogenesis-related secondary structures. First of all, we consider the following issues: a) conceptual differences between angiogenesis and vasculogenesis, b) incidence of angiogenesis in pre- and postnatal life, c) regions of vascular tree with angiogenic capacity, d) cells (endothelial cells, pericytes, CD34+ adventitial stromal cells of the microvasculature and inflammatory cells) and extracellular matrix components involved in angiogenesis, e) events associated with angiogenesis, f) different types of angiogenesis, including sprouting and intussusceptive angiogenesis, and other angiogenic or vascularization forms arising from endothelial precursor cells (postnatal vasculogenesis), vasculogenesis mimicry, vessel co-option and piecemeal angiogenesis. Subsequently, we consider the specific morpho-functional characteristics of each type of angiogenesis. In sprouting angiogenesis, we grouped the events in three phases: a) activation phase, which includes vasodilation and increased permeability, EC, pericyte and CD34+ adventitial stromal cell activation, and recruitment and activation of inflammatory cells, b) sprouting phase, encompassing EC migration (concept and characteristics of endothelial tip cells, tip cell selection, lateral inhibition, localized filopodia formation, basal lamina degradation and extracellular changes facilitating EC migration), EC proliferation (concept of endothelial stalk cells), pericyte mobilization, proliferation, recruitment and changes in CD34+ adventitial stromal cells and inflammatory cells, tubulogenesis, formation of a new basal lamina, and vascular anastomosis with capillary loop formation, and c) vascular remodelling and stabilization phase (concept of phalanx cells). Subsequently, the concept, incidence, events and mechanisms are considered in the other forms of angiogenesis. Finally, we contribute the formation of postnatal angiogenesis-related secondary structures: a) intravascular structures through piecemeal angiogenesis, including intravascular papillae in vessel tumours and pseudotumours (intravascular papillary endothelial hyperplasia, vascular transformation of the sinus in lymph nodes, papillary intralymphatic angioendothelioma or Dabska tumour, retiform hemangioendothelioma, hemangiosarcoma and lymphangiosarcoma), vascular septa in hemorrhoidal veins and intravascular projections in some tumours; b) arterial intimal thickening; c) intravascular tumours and pseudotumours (e.g. intravenous pyogenic granulomas and intravascular myopericytoma); d) vascular glomeruloid proliferations; and e) pseudopalisading necrosis in glioblastoma multiform.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / embryology*
  • Blood Vessels / growth & development*
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology*