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Cancer Res. 2005 May 15;65(10):3967-79.

Endogenous inhibitors of angiogenesis.

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Center for Matrix Biology, Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels, is required for many pathologic processes, including invasive tumor growth as well as physiologic organ/tissue maintenance. Angiogenesis during development and adulthood is likely regulated by a balance between endogenous proangiogenic and antiangiogenic factors. It is speculated that tumor growth requires disruption of such balance; thus, the angiogenic switch must be turned "on" for cancer progression. If the angiogenic switch needs to be turned on to facilitate the tumor growth, the question remains as to what the physiologic status of this switch is in the adult human body; is it "off," with inhibitors outweighing the stimulators, or maintained at a fine "balance," keeping the proangiogenic properties of many factors at a delicate "activity" balance with endogenous inhibitors of angiogenesis. The physiologic status of this balance is important to understand as it might determine an individual's predisposition to turn the switch on during pathologic events dependent on angiogenesis. Conceivably, if the physiologic angiogenesis balance in human population exists somewhere between off and even balance, an individual's capacity and rate to turn the switch on might reflect their normal physiologic angiogenic status. In this regard, although extensive knowledge has been gained in our understanding of endogenous growth factors that stimulate angiogenesis, the activities associated with endogenous inhibitors are poorly understood. In this review, we will present an overview of the knowledge gained in studies related to the identification and characterization of 27 different endogenous inhibitors of angiogenesis.

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