Therapeutic angiogenesis is an attractive strategy to treat patients suffering from peripheral or coronary artery disease. VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor-A) is the fundamental factor controlling vascular growth in both development and postnatal life. The interplay between the VEGF and Notch signalling pathway has been recently found to regulate the morphogenic events leading to the growth of new vessels by sprouting. Angiogenesis can also take place by an alternative process, i.e. intussusception or vascular splitting. However, little is known about its role in therapeutic angiogenesis and its molecular regulation. In the present article, we briefly review how VEGF dose determines the induction of normal or aberrant angiogenesis and the molecular regulation of sprouting angiogenesis by Notch signalling, and compare this process with intussusception.

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