Recombinant human platelet factor-4 (rhPF4), purified from Escherichia coli, inhibited blood vessel proliferation in the chicken chorioallantoic membrane in a dose-dependent manner. Treatment of several cell types with rhPF4 in vitro suggested that the angiostatic effect was due to specific inhibition of growth factor-stimulated endothelial cell proliferation. The inhibitory activities were associated with the carboxyl-terminal, heparin-binding region of the molecule and could be abrogated by including heparin in the test samples, an indication that sulfated polysaccharides might modulate the angiostatic activity of platelet factor-4 in vivo. Understanding of the mechanisms of control of angiogenesis by endogenous proteins should facilitate the development of effective treatments for diseases of pathogenic neovascularization such as Kaposi's sarcoma, diabetic retinopathy, and malignant tumor growth.

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