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Int Rev Cytol. 1999;185:1-43.

Autoregulation of angiogenesis by cells of the vessel wall.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102, USA.


The cells of the vessel wall can regulate angiogenesis by producing growth factors, proteolytic enzymes, extracellular matrix components, cell adhesion molecules, and vasoactive factors. This property enables preexisting blood vessels to generate new vessels in the absence of exogenous angiogenic stimuli. Vascular autoregulation of angiogenesis can be studied by culturing rat aortic or venous explants in collagen gels under serum-free conditions. In this system, the combined effect of injury and exposure of explants to collagen triggers a self-limited angiogenic response. Interactions among endothelial cells, smooth muscle cells, and fibroblasts play a critical role in the regulation of this process. This chapter reviews the literature on angiogenesis, focusing on the vessel wall as a highly specialized and plastic tissue capable of regenerating itself through autocrine, paracrine, and juxtacrine mechanisms.

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