We have previously shown that C1q is expressed on endothelial cells (ECs) of newly formed decidual tissue. Here we demonstrate that C1q is deposited in wound-healing skin in the absence of C4 and C3 and that C1q mRNA is locally expressed as revealed by real-time PCR and in situ hybridization. C1q was found to induce permeability of the EC monolayer, to stimulate EC proliferation and migration, and to promote tube formation and sprouting of new vessels in a rat aortic ring assay. Using a murine model of wound healing we observed that vessel formation was defective in C1qa(-/-) mice and was restored to normal after local application of C1q. The mean vessel density of wound-healing tissue and the healed wound area were significantly increased in C1q-treated rats. On the basis of these results we suggest that C1q may represent a valuable therapeutic agent that can be used to treat chronic ulcers or other pathological conditions in which angiogenesis is impaired, such as myocardial ischemia.