Novel Angiogenic Mechanisms: Role of Circulating Progenitor Endothelial Cells (CPECS)

Reviewed by:


N I Moldovan (ed)
Published by Kluwer/Plenum (2003)
ISBN: 0-3064-7697-5 114 pages plus index
RRP: US$120.00


Often conference proceedings contain such dated, disparate information that there is no point in purchasing or attempting to read the monograph. This little volume is quite different – the papers introduce a significant change in the concepts associated with the formation and maintenance of blood vessels. 

Dr Moldovan is to be congratulated on assembling, editing and introducing the articles, which are all associated with the hemopoietic/endothelial cell axis. He even introduces a new concept of cell co-operation (between monocytes and CPEPs and/or endothelial cells) in the formation of new blood vessels, including arterioles.

Although the index is minimal, the articles are short and well directed. It is easy to find your way around the book and the overlap between some of the articles reinforces the new concepts (rather than being redundant or confusing).

The articles in this volume cover new concepts in angiogenesis and hemopoiesis with such clarity that both novices and professional angiogenesis scientists/clinicians will find useful information for their research, teaching and strategic thinking. 

The first concept which leaps out is the role of the CPEPs in endothelial cell replacement. There appears to be several ways to form endothelial cells – directly from hemopoeitic stem cells, from more mature progenitors which are capable of forming monocytes (macrophages), dendritic cells and endothelial cells or from the activation of endothelial cells. The broadening of the potential of the lineage specificity for the granulocyte-macrophage progenitors has been suggested for many years, but the context provided by angiogenesis puts the role of the circulating monocytes into a new physiological context.

There are excellent chapters linking the genetics of hemopoietic cells and endothelial cells and the cell surface phenotype of the CPECs, monocytes and dendritic cells.

The infiltration of tumour deposits by endothelial cells is discussed in terms of VEGF attraction and activation. Not only does VEGF induce the release of CPECs, but it also activates these cells so that they can accumulate and mature at sites of tissue damage or remodeling (eg during tumorigenesis). The conundrums associated with tumour neo-angiogenesis and vasularization are discussed in considerable detail.

The role of cytokines in the generation of circulating endothelial progenitor cells, the production of monocytes and endothelial cells is presented clearly. Indeed, the specificity of different VEGFR ligands appears to account for the balance of cell production along the monocyte or endothelial cell lineages. Several articles suggest that both monocytes and endothelial cells may be necessary for optimal endothelial cell production. Dr Moldovan presents his own paper on the role of monocytes for producing tissue tunnels which are then “invaded” by CPECs (or activated endothelial cells) to finish up as endothelium lined vessels. He points out that in some situations vessels may be formed by monocyte tunneling in new tissues (eg tumours) without endothelial lining.

This volume is an excellent introduction to modern concepts in angiogenesis and will take readers well beyond sprouting and endothelial cell migration etc. It serves as an excellent introduction to an exploration of movement in the field over the last two years and will trigger novel ideas when the new concepts are considered for lymphangiogenesis or epithelial/mesencchym/endothelial transitions during tumour progression. 

I recommend this book to cell biologists, cancer researchers and students looking for a top-quality introduction to modern concepts in angiogenesis.

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