1Department of Human Anatomy and Histology, University of Bari Medical School, Bari, 2Department of Critical Area and Surgery, National Cancer Institute Giovanni Paolo II, Bari and 3Department of Medical and Morphological Research, Section of Anatomy, University of Udine Medical School, Udine, Italy
Human mast cells (MCs) are divided in two types depending on the expression of tryptase and chymase in their granules. Literature data indicate that both tryptase and chymase are angiogenic, but there is currently no evidence of their direct angiogenic activity in vivo. In this study, we have investigated the capacity of tryptase and chymase to promote vasoproliferation in chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM), a well established in vivo assay to study angiogenesis and anti-angiogenesis. The results showed that both tryptase and chymase stimulate angiogenesis and that the response is similar to that obtained with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a well-known angiogenic cytokine, and confirm the angiogenic activity of these two proteases stored in MC granules.