AAT Bioquest

What cell types are typically used in angiogenesis assays?

Posted October 10, 2023


Most angiogenesis assays use endothelial cells as they are the primary cell type involved in angiogenesis. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) or bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs) with Matrigel are most commonly used cell types currently in these assays. These cells are ideal to be used in these assays because they are easily harvested from large blood vessels. The vascular and lymphatic endothelial cells are essential for angiogenesis, as they make up the linings of the entire vascular system including blood and lymphatic vessels. Further cell types used in angiogenesis assays include porcine bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), human pulmonary artery endothelial cells (HPAEC), human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAEC), and human aortic endothelial cells (HAEC). Endothelial cells are ideal in angiogenesis assays because they are always in a proliferate state rather than the normal quiescent state of the vasculature in the intact animal.  

Mural cells are also involved in the mechanism of angiogenesis. Endothelial-Mural cell co-culture assays are used after endothelial cells have coalesced to form tubules. Mural cells are recruited to maintain vessel quiescence and stability. A crucial part of the study of angiogenesis is the interaction between mural and endothelial cells. Some examples of mural cells include pericytes and smooth muscle cells. Pericytes work directly with endothelial cells to form capillary walls and are mediated through PDGF-B and its receptor PDGFR-B. 

Additional resources

Angiogenesis Assays