The present study investigates the effect of the somatostatin analogue octreotide acetate (SMS 201-995) on experimental angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Octreotide reduced the proliferation of human HUV-EC-C endothelial cells (mean, -45.8% versus controls at 10(-9) M; P < 0.05) as well as the density of the vascular network of the chick chorioallantoic membrane (mean, -35.7% versus controls at 50 microgram; P < 0.05). Furthermore, octreotide significantly inhibited chick chorioallantoic membrane neovascularization by the human MCF-10Aint-2 mammary cells secreting the angiogenic protein FGF-3. The proliferation of endothelial and smooth muscle cells from rat aorta explants on fibronectin was reduced by octreotide 10(-8) M (mean, -32.6% versus controls; P < 0.05), and a similar effect was produced on cells sprouting from explants cultured in fibrin (mean, -52.9% versus controls; P < 0.05). Topical administration of octreotide 10 microgram/day for 6 days inhibited rat cornea neovascularization induced by AgNO3/KNO3 (mean, -50.6% versus controls; P < 0.05). Octreotide 40 microgram/day i.p was tested on angiogenesis in rat mesentery obtained by i.p. injections of compound 48/80, a mast cell degranulating agent, or conditioned medium from MCF-10Aint-2 cells and was able to reduce the extent of neovascularization (mean, -45.6 and -64.1%, respectively, versus controls; P < 0.05). These data provide evidence that octreotide is an inhibitor of experimental angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo.