Alterations of blood vessel development by endothelial cells overexpressing fibroblast growth factor-2

Domenico Ribatti, Anna Gualandris, Mirella Belleri, Luisa Massardi, Beatrice Nico, Marco Rusnati, Patrizia Dell'era, Angelo Vacca, Luisa Roncali, Marco Presta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A close relationship exists between angiogenesis and the formation of vascular lesions. The development of the vascular system in the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) may thus represent a model to study the effects of the deregulation of endothelial cell behaviour. Alterations of the developing vascular tree of the CAM were observed after exposure to murine aortic endothelial (MAE) cells overexpressing human fibroblast growth factor- 2 (FGF2) cDNA (pZipFGF2 MAE cells), or to their conditioned medium (CM). pZipFGF2 MAE cells injected into the allantoic sac or applied on to the CAM of day 8-9 chick embryos induce neovascularization and the appearance of haemangioma-like lesions. This activity was not prevented by anti-FGF2 antibodies. The CM from pZipFGF2 MAE cells was also active when adsorbed into a gelatin sponge and applied on to the CAM, both in the absence and in the presence of anti-FGF2 antibodies. No effects on vessel development were exerted by parental MAE cells, FGF2-transfected NIH 3T3 fibroblasts, or their conditioned media. In vitro, pZipFGF2 MAE cell CM caused parental MAE cells to invade fibrin gels and to undergo morphogenesis on Matrigel. This activity was not mimicked by recombinant FGF2 nor affected by anti-FGF2 antibodies, and depended on a M(r)~45 000 heat-labile heparin-binding factor. Size exclusion chromatography of pZipFGF2 MAE cell CM demonstrated that the in vitro activity co-purified with an in vivo angiogenic capacity. Thus, FGF2 overexpression in mouse endothelial cells induces the production of an angiogenic activity distinct from FGF2, which may contribute to the genesis of angioproliferative lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-599
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Angiogenesis
  • Chick embryo
  • Chorioallantoic membrane
  • Development
  • Fibroblast growth factor
  • Haemangioma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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