Anti-angiogenic therapies would be particularly beneficial in the treatment of malignant gliomas. Peptides derived from the second type 1 repeat (TSR) of thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) have been shown to inhibit angiogenesis in non-glioma tumor models and a modified TSR peptide, ABT-510, has now entered into Phase II clinical trials of its efficacy in non-glioma tumors. As microvascular endothelial cells (MvEC) exhibit heterogeneity, we evaluated the ability of the modified TSR peptide (NAcSarGlyValDalloIleThrNvaIleAr gProNHE, ABT-510) to inhibit malignant glioma growth in vivo and to induce apoptosis of brain microvessel endothelial cells (MvEC) propagated in vitro. We found that daily administration of ABT-510 until euthanasia (days 7 to 19), significantly inhibited the growth of human malignant astrocytoma tumors established in the brain of athymic nude mice. The microvessel density was significantly lower and the number of apoptotic MvEC was significantly higher (3-fold) in the tumors of the ABT-510-treated animals. Similar results were found using a model in which the established tumor is an intracerebral malignant glioma propagated in a syngeneic mouse model. ABT-510 treatment of primary human brain MvEC propagated as a monolayer resulted in induction of apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner through a caspase-8-dependent mechanism. It also inhibited tubular morphogenesis of MvEC propagated in collagen gels in a dose- and caspase-8 dependent manner through a mechanism that requires the TSP-1 receptor (CD36) on the MvEC. These findings indicate that ABT-510 should be evaluated as a therapeutic option for patients with malignant glioma. ©2007 Landes Bioscience.