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Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a major inducer of tumor angiogenesis and edema in human astrocytomas by its interaction with cognate endothelial-specific receptors (VEGFR1/R2). Tie1 and Tie2/Tek are more recently identified endothelial-specific receptors, with angiopoietins being ligands for the latter. These angiogenic factors and receptors are crucial for the maturation of the vascular system, but their role in tumor angiogenesis, particularly in astrocytomas, is unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that the angiopoietin family member Ang1 is expressed by some of the astrocytoma cell lines. In contrast to VEGF, Ang1 is down regulated by hypoxia. Ang2 was not overexpressed. Expression profiles of low-grade astrocytoma specimens were similar to those of normal brain, with low levels of Ang1, Ang2, and VEGF expression. Glioblastoma multiforme expressed higher levels of Angl, but not to the same degree as pseudopalisading astrocytoma cells around necrotic and hypoxic zones expressed VEGF, as shown in previous studies. Ang2 expression in the highly proliferative tumor vascular endothelium was also increased, as was phosphorylated Tie2/Tek. The expression profile of these angiogenic factors and their endothelial cell receptors in human glioblastomas multiforme was similar to that in a transgenic mouse model of glioblastoma multiforme. These data suggest that both VEGF and angiopoietins are involved in regulating tumor angiogenesis in human astrocytomas.