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Angiogenesis in life, disease and medicine

The acquisition of angiogenic phenotype depends on the local balance between positive and negative angiogenic regulators.3 Several proangiogenic factors have been identified so far, among them the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF),4 also known as scatter factor (SF).5 The angiogenic activity of HGF is mediated primarily through its direct actions on ECs,6,7 by binding to its receptor, a transmembrane tyrosine kinase encoded by the MET proto-oncogene (c-met).8,9 HGF can also stimulate angiogenesis indirectly by inducing other EC mitogens from non-EC populations.10,11 In a rabbit hind limb model of ischemia, angiographic, physiologic, and histologic findings indicated that HGF stimulated angiogenesis even more efficiently than vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).10