The key difference between vasculogenesis and angiogenesis is that vasculogenesis refers to the de novo synthesis of blood vessels during embryonic development, while angiogenesis refers to the synthesis of blood vessels from pre-existing cells during the lifetime.
Vasculogenesis and angiogenesis are essential processes in the development and maintenance of life. However, vasculogenesis takes place during the early development following conception, whereas angiogenesis takes place throughout the lifetime and is an important process in damage repair. Moreover, angiogenesis also plays a major role in cancer biology.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Vasculogenesis
3. What is Angiogenesis
4. Similarities Between Vasculogenesis and Angiogenesis
5. Side by Side Comparison – Vasculogenesis vs Angiogenesis in Tabular Form
What is Vasculogenesis?
Vasculogenesis refers to the de novo synthesis of blood vessels via the differentiation of endothelial precursor cells. It takes place during embryonic development. Vasculogenesis leads to the development of blood vessels, heart and the surrounding membranes during embryonic development. The primitive cells that begin vasculogenesis are endothelial precursor cells. These endothelial cells arise during the splitting of mesodermal cells lining in the bone marrow. They induce growth factors known as fibroblast growth factors that enable the precursor cells to organize into blood vessels. These cells differentiate from the mesoderm. The mesodermal cells then develop into endothelial progenitor cells. They have the ability to proliferate and migrate to the periphery. Then, together with the cells derived from the hematopoietic stem cells, they form the vascular network.
The paracrine signalling system also plays a major role in the organization of the blood vessels during embryonic development. Moreover, the genetics of a person also determines the vasculogenesis of a person. Therefore, based on the genetic characterization, prediction of the abnormalities of the vasculogenesis can be determined. It further enables diagnosing of any vascular system related disease conditions during the embryonic stage.
What is Angiogenesis?
Angiogenesis refers to the process where the synthesis of blood vessels takes place from pre-existing blood vessels. Therefore, it is not a de novo method of blood vessel development. Angiogenesis happens throughout the life span. It is a repetitive process. In contrast, vasculogenesis only takes place during early development. Angiogenesis is a vital process in damage repair of blood cells in an organism.
Angiogenesis takes place when a cell undergoes sprouting, owing to damage or injury. The endothelial cells are thus capable of secreting metalloproteases that can digest the basement membrane. It allows the endothelial cells to escape to the peripheral tissues. The escape of these endothelial cells will then lead to the proliferation of the cells in the new location.
Angiogenesis is accelerated during cancer. The expression of the vascular endothelial growth factor is high during cancer; thus, leading to excessive rates of angiogenesis. It will result in the provision of more nutrients to the proliferating cancer cell leading to increased stability of the cell.
What are the Similarities Between Vasculogenesis and Angiogenesis?
- Vasculogenesis and angiogenesis give rise to new blood vessels.
- Both processes take place through the involvement of endothelial cells and endothelial growth factors.
- Moreover, both processes are pre-determined by the genetics of an individual.
What is the Difference Between Vasculogenesis and Angiogenesis?
Although both these terms refer to the synthesis of blood vessels, there is a difference between vasculogenesis and angiogenesis based on their occurrence, function and biological role. Vasculogenesis, which takes place during the embryonic development of an individual, is the method of de novo blood vessel synthesis. Therefore, it leads to the formation of the entire circulatory system in an organism. Whereas, angiogenesis may take place during any stage of the lifespan and mostly function as a repair mechanism. Thus, angiogenesis refers to the synthesis of blood vessels from pre-existing blood vessels. So, this is the key difference between vasculogenesis and angiogenesis.
The below infographic summarizes the difference between vasculogenesis and angiogenesis.
Summary – Vasculogenesis vs Angiogenesis
Vasculogenesis and angiogenesis are the two main processes that facilitate the synthesis of blood vessels. Accordingly, vasculogenesis refers to the de novo synthesis of blood vessels. Whereas, the term angiogenesis refers to the synthesis of blood vessels from pre-existing blood vessels. Besides, while vasculogenesis takes place during the early development, angiogenesis takes place based on the requirement following an injury or a wound in the endothelium. Moreover, the role played by angiogenesis during cancer marks great importance to elucidate the molecular mechanisms leading to the development of cancer. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between vasculogenesis and angiogenesis.
1. Vailhé, Bruno, et al. “In Vitro Models of Vasculogenesis and Angiogenesis.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 1 Apr. 2001, Available here.