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Angiogenesis. 2001;4(1):71-7.

A study of metabolites as intermediate effectors in angiogenesis.

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School of Clinical Dentistry, Queen's University of Belfast, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7BL, UK.


Metabolites released from hypoxic tissues have been reported as angiogenic factors in circumstances of reduced tissue oxygenation or an increased rate of metabolism. However, in more recent reports their possible role in angiogenesis prior to the induction of hypoxia-inducible genes appears to have been neglected. In a systematic attempt to evalaute their role, metabolites common to the glycolytic and oxidative pathways (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, adenosine diphosphate and adenosine triphosphate), exclusively glycolytic metabolites (pyruvate and lactic acid) and exclusively oxidative metabolites (malate, succinate, fumarate and citrate) were tested to assess their effects upon in vivo angiogenesis and in vitro endothelial cell migration and proliferation. In addition, adenosine was tested due to its proposed role in hypoxia-induced angiogenesis. The angiogenic effects in vivo were examined using the chick chorioallantoic membrane assay and in vitro on chick embryonic capillary endothelial cells using a phagokinetic track/migration assay and crystal violet dye binding/proliferation assay. Metabolites common to the glycolytic and oxidative metabolic pathways and exclusively glycolytic metabolites produced an angiogenic response in vivo and in vitro on endothelial cell proliferation and migration, whereas exclusively oxidative metabolites, with the exception of malate, did not. Adenosine caused an increased proliferation of blood vessels in vivo and stimulated endothelial cell migration and proliferation. Overall, these results implicate metabolites as effectors in angiogenesis and it is proposed that they have a role which is possibly independent of the upregulation of hypoxia-inducible genes.

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