Postnatal vasculogenesis

Domenico Ribatti, Angelo Vacca, Beatrice Nico, Luisa Roncali, Franco Dammacco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is generally accepted that vasculogenesis is limited to early embryogenesis and is believed not to occur in adult, whereas angiogenesis occurs in both the developing embryo and postnatal life. However, the distinction between them is not absolute, because both require endothelial cell proliferation and migration and three-dimensional reorganization of newly formed blood vessels, nor are they mutually exclusive, inasmuch as angioblasts can be incorporated into expanding pre-existing blood vessels. Recent observations indicate that vasculogenesis may not be restricted to early embryogenesis, but may also have a physiological role or contribute to the pathology of vascular diseases in adults. The major evidence in favor of this new view comes from: (i) demonstration of the presence of circulating endothelial cells and endothelial precursor cells; (ii) newly described mechanisms of blood vessel formation in tumor growth. The potential biomedical applications of endothelial precursor cells and the new opportunities for the development of new forms of tumor-targeted treatments are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-163
Number of pages7
JournalMechanisms of Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Angiogenesis
  • Endothelium
  • Tumor progression
  • Vasculogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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