The angiogenic activity of peptide adrenomedullin (AM) was first shown in 1998. Since then, a number of reports have confirmed the ability of AM to induce the growth and migration of isolated vascular endothelial and smooth muscle cells in vitro and to promote angiogenesis in xenografted tumours in vivo. In addition, knockout murine models point to an essential role for AM in embryonic vasculogenesis and ischaemic revascularisation. AM expression is upregulated by hypoxia (a typical feature of solid tumours) and a potential role as a regulator of carcinogenesis and tumour progression has been proposed based on studies in vitro and in animal models. Nevertheless, translational research on AM, and in particular, confirmation of its importance in the vascularisation of human tumours has lagged behind. In this commentary, we review current progress and potential directions for future research into the role of AM in tumour angiogenesis.
- endothelial cell