The VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) family and its receptors are essential regulators of angiogenesis and vascular permeability. Currently, the VEGF family consists of VEGF-A, PlGF (placenta growth factor), VEGF-B, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, VEGF-E and snake venom VEGF. VEGF-A has at least nine subtypes due to the alternative splicing of a single gene. Although the VEGF165 isoform plays a central role in vascular development, recent studies have demonstrated that each VEGF isoform plays distinct roles in vascular patterning and arterial development. VEGF-A binds to and activates two tyrosine kinase receptors, VEGFR (VEGF receptor)-1 and VEGFR-2. VEGFR-2 mediates most of the endothelial growth and survival signals, but VEGFR-1-mediated signalling plays important roles in pathological conditions such as cancer, ischaemia and inflammation. In solid tumours, VEGF-A and its receptor are involved in carcinogenesis, invasion and distant metastasis as well as tumour angiogenesis. VEGF-A also has a neuroprotective effect on hypoxic motor neurons, and is a modifier of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Recent progress in the molecular and biological understanding of the VEGF/VEGFR system provides us with novel and promising therapeutic strategies and target proteins for overcoming a variety of diseases.
"The rate of VEGF secretion is controlled through an auto-inhibitory regulatory mechanism where the VEGF concentration of a cell's microenvironment down-regulates the secretion of VEGF. This control loop enables a community of cells to maintain a stable background concentration of VEGF . Disruption of the loop is implicated in multiple disease states. "
"Again, the pathogenic role of VEGF in IPF is complex and also crucial through angiogenesis and extracellular matrix production by fibroblasts ; its inhibition reduces pulmonary fibrosis in mice . On the other hand, soluble VEGF receptors 1 and 2 (sVEGFR-1 and -2) are important regulators of blood vessel growth and play an important role in maintaining the microvasculature . Altogether, effects of Fig. 1. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is associated with a marked pulmonary vascular remodeling. The aim of this study was to investigate a potential imbalance between angiogenic and angiostatic factors in this disease.
Methods and results:
Sixty-four subjects with IPF and 10 healthy control subjects (60-70 years old) were prospectively included in this multicenter study. Plasma levels of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) and stem cell factor (SCF) were determined by Elisa. Comparisons between IPF and controls were made using the Mann-Whitney U test. We also analyzed these soluble mediators in relation with IPF severity (DLCO<40% or>40%) predicted or total lung capacity (TLC) and forced vital capacity (FVC) (both<55% or>55% predicted) using the same test. VEGF-A plasma levels were increased in IPF vs. controls (P=0.0008) as well as those of TSP-1 (P=0.008), irrespective of the severity of the disease as reflected by DLCO, TLC or FVC values. In contrast, SCF levels were similar in IPF and controls.
Factors modulating angiogenic responses are dysregulated in patients with IPF with increases in VEGF-A and TSP-1. The serial assessment of VEGF-A and TSP-1 during the follow-up and the search for potential relationships with the outcome of the disease might give us hints to the clinical implication of these results.
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