Recent evidence has demonstrated that endothelial-specific growth factors affect the development of apparently unrelated organs and cells. Expanding this evidence further, new findings in this issue of the JCI show that neurotrophic factors can affect neovascularization. Neurotrophic factors achieve proangiogenic effects not only by directly affecting endothelial cells, but also by recruiting hematopoietic precursors. Further understanding of the biology of angiogenic factors, as well as of the function of hematopoietic cells in tissue neovascularization, will lead to improved therapeutic strategies for the treatment of diseases ranging from ischemia to cancer.
Dan G. Duda, Rakesh K. Jain