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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1990 Jul 31;170(2):867-72.

Specific inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation by thrombospondin.

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Cancer Research, Upjohn Laboratories, Kalamazoo, MI 49001.


Angiogenesis is a multi-step event involving endothelial cell migration, attachment, and proliferation. A thrombospondin (TSP)-like protein has recently been described as a naturally-occurring inhibitor of angiogenesis. We now report that human platelet TSP inhibits the in vitro proliferation of endothelial cells from the rabbit corpus luteum, bovine adrenal cortex and pulmonary artery, and human umbilical vein. The antiproliferative effect of TSP was neutralized by monoclonal antibodies against TSP. The growth arrest seen with TSP was specific for endothelial cells since TSP actually stimulated the growth of vascular smooth muscle cells and human foreskin fibroblasts. These results imply that the angiogenesis-inhibiting effect of TSP is mediated through an inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation. Elucidation of the mechanism of action of TSP on endothelial cell proliferation may lead to potential therapeutic approaches for the control of neovascular diseases.

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