Angiogenesis is the process of generating new capillaries from preexisting blood vessels. Excessive angiogenesis contributes to the pathophysiology of a variety of diseases including tumor growth, metastasis, and proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Inadequate angiogenesis, on the other hand, is a factor in delayed wound healing and ischemic vascular disease. It follows, that angiogenesis is a tightly regulated process, controlled by a variety of growth factors and inhibitors. In this review, we consider the molecular mechanisms of action of angiostatin, one of the known inhibitors of angiogenesis. Although the major interest in angiostatin has surrounded its use in inhibiting tumor angiogenesis, its biological effects are not limited to this arena. Angiostatin could affect virtually any vascular function in which a healthy, proliferating endothelium is required. Furthermore, there is evidence that angiostatin also targets other cells, including circulating endothelial progenitor cells, smooth muscle cells, and even neutrophils. In this review, we consider the multiple mechanisms by which angiostatin could affect microvascular structure and function.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.