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Exp Mol Med. 2002 Mar 31;34(1):1-11.

Biomedical significance of endothelial cell specific growth factor, angiopoietin.

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  • 1National Creative Research Initiatives Center for Endothelial Cells, Division of Molecular and Life Sciences, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea.


Until recently, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was the only growth factor proven to be specific and critical for blood vessel formation. Other long-known factors, such as the fibroblast growth factors (FGFs), platelet-derived growth factor, or transforming growth factor-beta, had profound effects in endothelial cells. But such factors were nonspecific, in that they could act on many other cells, and it seemed unlikely that these growth factors would be effective targets for treatment of endothelial cell diseases. A recently discovered endothelial cell specific growth factor, angiopoietin, has greatly contributed to our understanding of the development, physiology, and pathology of endothelial cells (Davis et al., 1996; Yancopoulos et al., 2000). The recent studies that identified and characterized the physiological and pathological roles of angiopoietin have allowed us to widen and deepen our knowledge about blood vessel formation and vascular endothelial function. Therefore, in this review, we describe the biomedical significance of these endothelial cell growth factors, the angiopoietins, in the vascular system under normal and pathological states.

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