Macrophages and angiogenesis

J Leukoc Biol. 1994 Mar;55(3):410-22. doi: 10.1002/jlb.55.3.410.


Macrophages are supposed to play a key role in inflammatory and tumor angiogenesis. Their importance derives from (1) their ubiquitous presence in normal and especially inflamed tissues, (2) their potential to become activated in response to appropriate stimuli, and (3) their repertoire of secretory products. By release of proteases, growth factors (bFGF, GM-CSF, TGF-alpha, IGF-I, PDGF, VEGF/VPF, TGF-beta), and other monokines (IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-alpha, substance P, prostaglandins, interferons, thrombospondin 1), activated macrophages have the capability to influence each phase of the angiogenic process, such as alterations of the local extracellular matrix, induction of endothelial cells to migrate or proliferate, and inhibition of vascular growth with formation of differentiated capillaries. This review describes macrophage physiology and the influence of macrophage secretory products on the different phases of angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiology
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / cytology*
  • Macrophages / physiology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / physiopathology*