Angiogenin (Ang), a potent mediator of neovascularization, is secreted by and is critical for the growth of human tumor cells in experimental animals. However, control mechanisms that regulate its expression under normal physiological conditions have not been described. We have determined previously that Ang is present in normal human serum and that its concentration, normally falling within a narrow range, can vary widely in hospitalized patients. This observation, plus a report that Ang is synthesized in the adult liver, led us to investigate whether it can be regulated as an acute phase protein (APP). Ang concentration in the serum of mice placed into the acute phase by injection with 3% thioglycollate do indeed increase transiently as is typical for APPs. Moreover, a liver-specific rise and subsequent fall in Ang mRNA transcripts also follows entrance into acute inflammation. We conclude that Ang can be regulated in vivo in a manner that is characteristic of an APP and, therefore, may contribute to the angiogenic component of tissue repair that accompanies host response to inflammation and trauma. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that a well-characterized angiogenic mediator can be regulated as an APP.