We recently isolated a novel angiogenesis inhibitor, vasohibin-1, and its homologue, vasohibin-2. In this study we characterize the role of these 2 molecules in the regulation of angiogenesis. In a mouse model of subcutaneous angiogenesis, the expression of endogenous vasohibin-1 was low in proliferating ECs at the sprouting front but high in nonproliferating endothelial cells (ECs) in the termination zone. In contrast, endogenous vasohibin-2 was preferentially expressed in mononuclear cells mobilized from bone marrow that infiltrated the sprouting front. When applied exogenously, vasohibin-1 inhibited angiogenesis at the sprouting front where endogenous vasohibin-1 was scarce but did not influence vascularity in the termination zone where endogenous vasohibin-1 was enriched. Exogenous vasohibin-2 prevented the termination of angiogenesis in the termination zone and increased vascularity in this region. Angiogenesis was persistent in the termination zone in the vasohibin-1 knockout mice, whereas angiogenesis was deficient at the sprouting front in the vasohibin-2 knockout mice. Supplementation of deficient proteins normalized the abnormal patterns of angiogenesis in the vasohibin knockout mice. These results indicate that vasohibin-1 is expressed in ECs in the termination zone to halt angiogenesis, whereas vasohibin-2 is expressed in infiltrating mononuclear cells in the sprouting front to promote angiogenesis.
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