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Studies of β-defensin involvement in tumor development and progression have indicated that β-defensins may play important roles in angiogenesis. β-defensins was shown to proliferate and migrate towards a chemotactic gradient to recruit endothelial cells to form new blood vessels.
The chemotaxis of human endothelial cells was shown to be hBD-2 dose dependent and similar to the effect exerted by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Similar to VEGF, hBD-2 promotes the capillary-like tube formation of human endothelial cells which is the first step in the formation of new blood vessels.
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