Neovascular growth factors

Gregory Schultz, M. B. Grant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

102 Scopus citations


Neovascularisation is the biological process of forming new blood vessels. Many conditions can initiate neovascularisation including trauma or chronic ischaemia produced by diseases such as diabetes. Neovascularisation proceeds through a series of steps beginning with destruction of the basement membrane surrounding the microvascular endothelial cells, which allows endothelial cells to extend cytoplasmic buds in the direction of chemotactic factors. Migrating endothelial cells elongate, divide and eventually form tube structures which join to form mature new capillaries. Results of in vitro experiments, in vivo experiments, and clinical studies suggest that peptide growth factors can play key regulatory roles in each step of neovascularisation through both direct and indirect actions. At sites of vascular injuries, degranulating platelets release PDGF, IGF-I, EGF, and TGF-β. Macrophages and neutrophiles drawn into the ischaemic or injured areas synthesise and release TGF -α, TGF -α, and PDGF, and wounded endothelial cells secrete FGF. T hese peptide growth factors can stimulate migration, mitosis and differentiation of endothelial cells in culture and can induce neovascularisation in animal models. Clinical correlations suggest that peptide growth factors in the vitreous such as IGF-I and bFGF may promote diabetic retinopathy. As the biological mechanisms of neovascular growth factors become better understood, it may be possible to develop therapeutic approaches to selectively inhibit the peptide growth factors which regulate neovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-180
Number of pages11
JournalEye (Basingstoke)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1991


  • Angiogenesis
  • Growth factors
  • Ischemia
  • Neovascularisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

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  • Cite this

    Schultz, G., & Grant, M. B. (1991). Neovascular growth factors. Eye (Basingstoke), 5(2), 170-180.