Angiogenic targets for potential disorders


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This review shall familiarize the readers with various fundamental aspects of angiogenesis. Angiogenesis is a feature of a limited number of physiological processes like wound healing, ovulation, development of the corpus luteum, embryogenesis, lactating breast, during immune response, and during Inflammation. It is driven by a cocktail of growth factors and pro-angiogenic cytokines and is tempered by an equally diverse group of inhibitors of neovascularization. The properties and biological functions of angiogenic growth factors such as VEGF, FGF-2, nitric oxide, MMP, angiopoietin, TGF-β as well as various inhibitors such as angiostatin, endostatin, thrombospondin, canstatin, DII4, PEDF are discussed in this review with respect to their impact on angiogenic process. In recent years, it has become increasingly evident that excessive, insufficient, or abnormal angiogenesis contributes to the pathogenesis of many more disorders. A long list of disorders is characterized or caused by excessive or insufficient angiogenesis whereas several congenital or inherited diseases are also caused by abnormal vascular remodeling. It may be possible in the future to develop specific anti-angiogenic agents that offer a potential therapy for cancer and angiogenic diseases.