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Description of an in vitro angiogenesis model designed to test antiangiogenic molecules

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Angiogenesis is involved in numerous pathologies. Studies with in vitro models allow the description and analysis of the different steps involved in this process under defined culture conditions. We describe a controllable and reproducible in vitro model. We assessed the usefulness of this model with two different cell lines: human umbilical vein endothelial cells and bovine retinal endothelial cells. These cells reorganize themselves and change their phenotypes within 24 h after seeding under our culture conditions (low human serum percentage, defined cell density, fibrin matrix) to form ‘capillary-like structures’ (CLS) in vitro. We showed that, depending on the cell line used, the fibrinolytic activity of the cells was a determining factor which could induce or prevent the formation of the CLS. Inhibitors of angiogenesis can be tested using such a model.

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human umbilical vein endothelial cells


bovine retinal endothelial cells


capillary-like structure


human serum


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Vailhé, B., Ronot, X., Lecomte, M. et al. Description of an in vitro angiogenesis model designed to test antiangiogenic molecules. Cell Biol Toxicol 12, 341–344 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00438168

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Key words

  • endothelial cells
  • fibrin
  • in vitro angiogenesis