Angiogenesis refers to the process of new blood vessel formation from a preexisting vasculature that occurs under, either physiological or pathological conditions (Carmeliet, 2003). It is observed at tightly regulated condition in normal physiology during embryogenesis, ovary cycling, and wound healing. However, in pathological conditions such as inflammatory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and tumor metastasis, a chronic unregulated angiogenic state often helps spreading of the diseases (Kirk et al., 2004). Hence, preventing angiogenesis under pathological conditions is a promising approach in the prevention of cancer and other angiogenic-related diseases.
Sugawara et al. showed that fucoxanthin significantly suppressed human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) proliferation and tube formation at more than 10 p.M. Fucoxanthin effectively suppressed the differentiation of endothelial progenitor cells into endothelial cells involving new blood vessel formation (Sugawara et al., 2006). Fucoxanthin and fucoxanthinol suppressed microvessel outgrowth in vivo and ex vivo angiogenesis assay using a rat aortic ring. In a recent study, Ganesan et al. demonstrated antiangiogenic effect of siphonaxanthin derived from green algae, C. fragile (Ganesan et al., 2010). The antiangiogenic effects of siponaxanthin were comparable with fucoxanthin. The structure similarity between fucoxanthin and siponaxanthin is the presence of hydroxy group on the 3 and 3' position of both compounds. Therefore, the presence of those hydroxyl groups might conceivably be a part of their antiangiogenesis effect.
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