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Macrophages and angiogenesis: a role for Wnt signaling

Andrew C Newman1 and Christopher C W Hughes123*

Author Affiliations

1 The Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, 92697, USA

2 The Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, 92697, USA

3 The Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, 92697, USA

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Vascular Cell 2012, 4:13  doi:10.1186/2045-824X-4-13

Published: 31 August 2012


Macrophages regulate many developmental and pathological processes in both embryonic and adult tissues, and recent studies have shown a significant role in angiogenesis. Similarly, Wnt signaling is fundamental to tissue morphogenesis and also has a role in vascular development. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the field of macrophage-regulated angiogenesis, with a focus on the role of macrophage-derived Wnt ligands. We review data that provide both direct and indirect evidence for macrophage-derived Wnt regulation of physiologic and pathologic angiogenesis. Finally, we propose that Wnt signaling plays a central role in differentiation of tumor associated and wound infiltrating macrophages to a proangiogenic phenotype.

Macrophage; Angiogenesis; Wnt