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Microvasc Res. 2007 Sep-Nov;74(2-3):90-9. Epub 2007 May 6.

Thrombospondin-based antiangiogenic therapy.

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Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Thrombospondins (TSPs) are a family of extracellular matrix proteins that regulate tissue genesis and remodeling. TSP-1 plays a pivotal role in the regulation of both physiological and pathological angiogenesis. The inhibitory effects of TSP-1 on angiogenesis have been established in numerous experimental models. Among other TSP members, TSP-2 has equivalent domain structure as TSP-1 and shares most functions of TSP-1. The mechanisms by which TSP-1 and -2 inhibit angiogenesis can be broadly characterized as direct effects on vascular endothelial cells and indirect effects on the various angiogenic regulators. The fact that TSP-1 and -2 are potent endogenous angiogenic inhibitors has prompted studies to explore their therapeutic applications, and detailed understanding of the mechanisms of action of TSP-1 and -2 has facilitated the design of therapeutic strategies to optimize these activities. The therapeutic effects can be achieved by up-regulation of endogenous TSPs, or by the delivery of recombinant proteins or synthetic peptides that contain sequences from the angiogenic domain of TSP-1. In this article, we review the progress in thrombospondin-based antiangiogenic therapy and discuss the perspectives on the significant challenges that remain.

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