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FASEB J. 1992 Feb 1;6(3):886-92.

Angiogenesis in the female reproductive system.

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Department of Animal and Range Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo.


In adult tissues, capillary growth (angiogenesis) occurs normally during tissue repair, such as in healing of wounds and fractures. Rampant capillary growth is associated with various pathological conditions, including tumor growth, retinopathies, hemangiomas, fibroses and rheumatoid arthritis. The female reproductive organs (i.e., ovary, uterus, and placenta) exhibit dynamic, periodic growth and regression accompanied by equally dramatic changes in rates of blood flow. It is not surprising, therefore, that they are some of the few adult tissues in which angiogenesis occurs as a normal process. Thus, the female reproductive system provides a unique model for studying regulation of angiogenesis during growth and differentiation of normal adult tissues. Ovarian, uterine, and placental tissues recently have been shown to contain and produce angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors. This review discusses the current state of knowledge regarding angiogenic processes and their regulation in female reproductive tissues. In addition, implications of this research for regulation of fertility as well as for control of angiogenesis in other normal and pathological processes are discussed.

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