We examined the effect of angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) on apoptosis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Ang1 (5-1000 ng/ml) dose-dependently inhibited apoptosis under a serum-deprived state. A significant apoptotic inhibition occurred with as low as 50 ng/ml. Two hundred ng/ml of Ang1 inhibited to approximately 50% of the control apoptotic rates for 96 h. Furthermore, an augmented antiapoptotic effect of Ang1 by the addition of 20 ng/ml vascular endothelial growth factor was observed. This Ang1-iuduced strong antiapoptotic effect in endothelial cells is a novel and intriguing finding and could be an additional description of Ang1-induced direct biological function. (C) 1999 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.