Thromb Haemost 2017; 117(07): 1289-1295
DOI: 10.1160/TH17-05-0325
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Schattauer GmbH

Angiogenesis in metabolic-vascular disease

Georg Breier*
1  Division of Medical Biology, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, Germany
Triantafyllos Chavakis*
2  Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, Germany
Emilio Hirsch*
3  Department of Molecular Biotechnology and Health Sciences, University of Torino, Torino, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Received: 11 May 2017

Accepted after minor revision: 29 May 2017

Publication Date:
28 November 2017 (online)


Angiogenesis, literally formation of new blood vessels, is the main process through which the vascular system expands during embryonic and postnatal development. Endothelial cells, which constitute the inner lining of all blood vessels, are typically in a quiescent state in the healthy adult organism. However, in vascular and metabolic diseases, the endothelium becomes unstable and dysfunctional. The resulting tissue hypoxia may thereby induce pathological angiogenesis, which is a hallmark of disease conditions like cancer or diabetic retinopathy. However, recent evidence suggests that angiogenesis is also a major player in the context of further metabolic diseases, especially in obesity. In particular, deregulated angiogenesis is linked with adipose tissue dysfunction and insulin resistance. On the other hand, signalling pathways, such as the PI3K pathway, may regulate metabolic activities in the endothelium. Endothelial cell metabolism emerges as an important regulator of angiogenesis. This review summarises the role of angiogenesis in metabolic-vascular disease, with specific focus on the role of angiogenesis in obesity-related metabolic dysfunction and on signaling pathways, especially PI3K, linking cell metabolism to endothelial function.

* All authors contributed equally to the work.