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© 2016 The Author(s).Angiogenesis plays an important role in bone development and remodeling and is mediated by a plethora of potential angiogenic factors. However, data regarding specific angiogenic factors that are secreted within the bone microenvironment to regulate osteoporosis is lacking. Here, we report that Nephronectin (NPNT), a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) repeat superfamily proteins and a homologue of EGFL6, is expressed in osteoblasts. Intriguingly, the gene expression of NPNT is reduced in the bone of C57BL/6J ovariectomised mice and in osteoporosis patients. In addition, the protein levels of NPNT and CD31 are also found to be reduced in the tibias of OVX mice. Exogenous addition of mouse recombinant NPNT on endothelial cells stimulates migration and tube-like structure formation in vitro. Furthermore, NPNT promotes angiogenesis in an ex vivo fetal mouse metatarsal angiogenesis assay. We show that NPNT stimulates the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and p38 mitogen-activated kinase (MAPK) in endothelial cells. Inhibition of ERK1/2 impaired NPNT-induced endothelial cell migration, tube-like structure formation and angiogenesis. Taken together, these results demonstrate that NPNT is a paracrine angiogenic factor and may play a role in pathological osteoporosis. This may lead to new targets for treatment of bone diseases and injuries.