Different cytokines and growth factors, including sKitL, SDF-1 and VEGF as well as key enzymes such as MMP9 and eNOS, have been identified as key actors in post-ischemic and tumor vasculogenesis. A new era of research now begins with the identification of different disease-related and therapeutic modulators of these actors. Caveolin appears, through its multiple interactions with the leader vasculogenic actors (eg, clamping eNOS activity and compartmentation of VEGFR2 and CXCR4 receptors), as one of these so far unsuspected modulators of the neovascularization process. Besides the elucidation of the mechanisms underlying progenitor cell mobilization, studies focused on these new players in vasculogenesis will pave the way for the future development of therapeutic strategies aiming to increase the engraftment potential of progenitor and hematopoietic stem cells.
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