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Nature. 1987 Oct 15-21;329(6140):630-2.

Macrophage-induced angiogenesis is mediated by tumour necrosis factor-alpha.

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Department of Oral Biology, Northwestern University Dental School, Chicago, Illinois 60611.


Macrophages are important in the induction of new blood vessel growth during wound repair, inflammation and tumour growth. We show here that tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), a secretory product of activated macrophages that is believed to mediate tumour cytotoxicity, is a potent inducer of new blood vessel growth (angiogenesis). In vivo, TNF-alpha induces capillary blood vessel formation in the rat cornea and the developing chick chorioallantoic membrane at very low doses. In vitro, TNF-alpha stimulates chemotaxis of bovine adrenal capillary endothelial cells and induces cultures of these cells grown on type-1 collagen gels to form capillary-tube-like structures. The angiogenic activity produced by activated murine peritoneal macrophages is completely neutralized by a polyclonal antibody to TNF-alpha, suggesting immunological features are common to TNF-alpha and the protein responsible for macrophage-derived angiogenic activity. In inflammation and wound repair, TNF-alpha could augment repair by stimulating new blood vessel growth; in tumours, TNF-alpha might both stimulate tumour development by promoting vessel growth and participate in tumour destruction by direct cytotoxicity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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