Int. J. Dev. Biol. 55: 495 - 503 (2011)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.103227sn
© UPV/EHU Press

The interplay between macrophages and angiogenesis in development, tissue injury and regeneration

Silvia Nucera1,2,3, Daniela Biziato1,2,3 and Michele De Palma*,1,2

1Angiogenesis and Tumor Targeting Research Unit, 2San Raffaele-Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (HSR-TIGET), Division of Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells and Gene Therapy, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy and 3Vita-Salute San Raffaele University Medical School, Milan, Italy

ABSTRACT During organ development and remodeling, macrophages support angiogenesis, not only by secreting proangiogenic growth factors and matrix-remodeling proteases, but also by physically interacting with the sprouting vasculature to assist the formation of complex vascular networks. Recent data further indicate that embryonic and tumor-associated macrophages express similar genetic programs, possibly suggesting convergent functions in organogenesis and tumorigenesis. In this article, we review the role of macrophages in development, tissue injury and regeneration, by focusing on the mechanisms used by subsets of these cells, such as the TIE2-expressing macrophages, to regulate angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in both fetal and post-natal life.


monocyte, lymphangiogenesis, wound healing, tumor, tumor-associated macrophage

*Corresponding author e-mail: