During angiogenesis, endothelial tip cells start sprouting and express delta-like 4 (DLL4) downstream of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). DLL4 subsequently activates Notch in the adjacent stalk cells suppressing sprouting. VEGF also activates A disintegrin and metalloproteases (ADAMs) that induce Notch ectodomain shedding. Although two major ADAMs, i.e. ADAM10 and ADAM17, have been implicated in Notch-signalling activation, their apparent different roles in angiogenesis have not been fully understood yet. The objective of this study was to determine the roles of ADAM10 and ADAM17 activity in angiogenesis. In mouse retinas, ADAM10 or gamma-secretase inhibition induced vascular sprouting and density in vivo, whereas attenuation of both ADAM10 and ADAM17 activity produced the opposite phenotype. Retinal blood vessel analysis in ADAM17 hypomorphic mice confirmed the requirement for ADAM17 activity in angiogenesis. However, ADAM17 inhibition did not phenocopy blood vessel increase by Notch blockage. These observations suggest that ADAM17 regulates other fundamental players during angiogenesis besides Notch, which were not affected by ADAM10. By means of an angiogenesis proteome assay, we found that ADAM17 inhibition induced the expression of a naturally occurring inhibitor of angiogenesis Thrombospondin 1 (TSP1), whereas ADAM10 inhibition did not. Accordingly, ADAM17 overexpression downregulated TSP1 expression, and the TSP1 inhibitor LSKL rescued angiogenesis in the tube formation assay downstream of VEGF in the presence of ADAM17 inhibition. Finally, genetic and pharmacological ADAM17 blockade resulted in increased TSP1 expression in mouse retina. Altogether, our results show that ADAM10 and ADAM17 have opposite effects on sprouting angiogenesis that may be unrelated to Notch signalling and involves differentially expressed anti-angiogenic proteins such as TSP1.