BACKGROUNDAngiogenesis, or the remodeling of existing vasculature serves as a lifeline to nourish developing embryos and starved tissues, and to accelerate wound healing, diabetic retinopathy, and tumor progression. Recent studies indicate that angiogenesis requires growth factor activity as well as cell adhesion events mediated by alpha5beta1 and alphavbeta3 integrins. We previously demonstrated that human lipid phosphate phosphohydrolase-3 (LPP3) acts as a cell-associated ligand for alpha5beta1 and alphavbeta3 integrins. Here, we test the hypothesis that an anti-LPP3 antibody can inhibit basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)-and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced capillary morphogenesis of endothelial cells (ECs).RESULTSWe report that bFGF and VEGF up-regulate LPP3 protein expression in ECs. Immunoprecipitation analyses show that LPP3 is a cell surface protein and undergoes N-glycosylation. Fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS) data suggest that anti-LPP3-RGD detects native neoepitope on the surface of activated ECs. Moreover, we demonstrate LPP3 protein expression in tumor endothelium alongside VEGF. The embedding of ECs into three-dimensional type I collagen in the presence of bFGF and VEGF induce capillary formation. Importantly, we show that the addition of an anti-LPP3 antibody specifically and significantly blocks bFGF- and VEGF-induced capillary morphogenesis of ECs.CONCLUSIONThese data suggest that activated ECs as well as tumor endothelium express LPP3 protein. In an in vitro assay, the anti-LPP3-RGD specifically blocks bFGF and VEGF induced capillary morphogenesis of ECs. Our results, therefore, suggest a role for LPP3 in angiogenesis.