[en] Angiogenesis, a key step in many physiological and pathological processes, involves proteolysis of the extracellular matrix. To study the role of two enzymatic families, serine-proteases and matrix metalloproteases in angiogenesis, we have adapted to the mouse, the aortic ring assay initially developed in the rat. The use of deficient mice allowed us to demonstrate that PAI-1 is essential for angiogenesis while the absence of an MMP, MMP-11, did not affect vessel sprouting. We report here that this model is attractive to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis, to identify, characterise or screen "pro- or anti-angiogenic agents that could be used for the treatment of angiogenesis-dependent diseases. Approaches include using recombinant proteins, synthetic molecules and adenovirus-mediated gene transfer.