Angiogenesis, the development of new blood vessels from the existing vasculature, is essential for physiological growth and over 18,000 research articles have been published describing the role of angiogenesis in over 70 different diseases, including cancer, diabetic retinopathy, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. One of the most important technical challenges in such studies has been finding suitable methods for assessing the effects of regulators of eh angiogenic response. While increasing numbers of angiogenesis assays are being described both in vitro and in vivo, it is often still necessary to use a combination of assays to identify the cellular and molecular events in angiogenesis and the full range of effects of a given test protein. Although the endothelial cell - its migration, proliferation, differentiation and structural rearrangement - is central to the angiogenic process, it is not the only cell type involved. the supporting cells, the extracellular matrix and the circulating blood with its cellular and humoral components also contribute.
In this book, experts in the use of a diverse range of assays outline key components of these and give a critical appraisal of their strengths and weaknesses. Examples include assays for the proliferation, migration and differentiation of endothelial cells in vitro, vessel outgrowth from organ cultures, assessment of endothelial and mural cell interactions, and such in vivo assays as the chick chorioallantoic membrane, zebrafish, corneal, chamber and tumour angiogenesis models. These are followed by a critical analysis of the biological end-points currently being used in clinical trials to assess the clinical efficacy of anti-angiogenic drugs, which leads into a discussion of the direction future studies should take. This valuable book is of interest to research scientists currently working on angiogenesis in both the academic community and in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Relevant disciplines include cell and molecular biology, oncology, cardiovascular research, biotechnology, pharmacology, pathology and physiology.