Inflammation, inflammatory cells and angiogenesis: Decisions and indecisions

Douglas M. Noonan, Andrea De Lerma Barbaro, Nicola Vannini, Lorenzo Mortara, Adriana Albini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Endothelial-immune cell cross-talk goes well beyond leukocyte and lymphocyte trafficking, since immune cells are able to intimately regulate vessel formation and function. Here we review the evidence that most immune cells are capable of polarization towards a dichotomous activity either inducing or inhibiting angiogenesis. In addition to the well-known roles of tumor associated macrophages, we find that neutrophils, myeloid-derived suppressor and dendritic cells clearly have the potential for influencing tumor angiogenesis. Further, the physiological functions of NK cells suggest that these cells may also show a potentially important role in pro- or anti-angiogenesis regulation within the tumor microenvironment. At the same time many angiogenic factors influence the activity and function of immune cells that generally favor tumor survival and tolerance. Thus the immune system itself represents a major pharmaceutical target and links angiogenesis inhibition to immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-40
Number of pages10
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


  • Angiogenesis
  • Cardiovasculature
  • Immune cells
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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