Steven J Harper

University of Bristol, Bristol, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (64)350.47 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Anti-VEGF-A therapy has become a mainstay of treatment for ocular neovascularisation and in cancer; however, their effectiveness is not universal, in some cases only benefiting a minority of patients. Anti-VEGF-A therapies bind and block both pro-angiogenic VEGF-Axxx and the partial agonist VEGF-Axxxb isoforms, but their anti-angiogenic benefit only comes about from targeting the pro-angiogenic isoforms. Therefore, antibodies that exclusively target the pro-angiogenic isoforms may be more effective. To determine whether C-terminal-targeted antibodies could inhibit angiogenesis, we generated a polyclonal antibody to the last nine amino acids of VEGF-A165 and tested it in vitro and in vivo. The exon8a polyclonal antibody (Exon8apab) did not bind VEGF-A165b even at greater than 100-fold excess concentration, and dose dependently inhibited VEGF-A165 induced endothelial migration in vitro at concentrations similar to the VEGF-A antibody fragment ranibizumab. Exon8apab can inhibit tumour growth of LS174t cells implanted in vivo and blood vessel growth in the eye in models of age-related macular degeneration, with equal efficacy to non-selective anti-VEGF-A antibodies. It also showed that it was the VEGF-Axxx levels specifically that were upregulated in plasma from patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy. These results suggest that VEGF-A165-specific antibodies can be therapeutically useful.
    Angiogenesis 10/2014; · 4.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pre-eclampsia remains a dominant cause of maternal and fetal mortality in developed countries. In a previous prospective study we identified a fall in the VEGF-A isoform VEGF-A165b in the plasma of patients in the first trimester to be a predictor of later pre-eclampsia. VEGF-A165b has been shown to have potent cytoprotective properties in many cell types. We therefore tested the hypothesis that VEGF-A165b may be cytoprotective for placental trophoblasts.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 08/2014; 14(1):278. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The angiogenic capability of colorectal carcinomas (CRC), and their susceptibility to anti-angiogenic therapy, is determined by expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) isoforms. The intracellular protein T-cell Intracellular Antigen (TIA-1) alters post-transcriptional RNA processing and binds VEGF-A mRNA. We therefore tested the hypothesis that TIA-1 could regulate VEGF-A isoform expression in colorectal cancers. TIA-1 and VEGF-A isoform expression was measured in colorectal cancers and cell lines. We discovered that an endogenous splice variant of TIA-1 encoding a truncated protein, short TIA-1 (sTIA-1) was expressed in CRC tissues and invasive K-Ras mutant colon cancer cells and tissues but not in adenoma cell lines. sTIA-1 was more highly expressed in CRC than in normal tissues and increased with tumour stage. Knockdown of sTIA-1 or over-expression of full length TIA-1 (flTIA-1) induced expression of the anti-angiogenic VEGF isoform VEGF-A165b. Whereas flTIA-1 selectively bound VEGF-A165 mRNA and increased translation of VEGF-A165b, sTIA-1 prevented this binding. In nude mice, xenografted colon cancer cells over-expressing flTIA-1 formed smaller, less vascular tumours than those expressing sTIA-1, but flTIA-1 expression inhibited the effect of anti-VEGF antibodies. These results indicate that alternative splicing of an RNA binding protein can regulate isoform specific expression of VEGF providing an added layer of complexity to the angiogenic profile of colorectal cancer and their resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy.
    Molecular Oncology 08/2014; · 6.70 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Local inflammation at the RPE cell layer is associated with inflammatory cell migration and secretion of proinflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α. TNF-α upregulates intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 expression on the RPE, which allows lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) to bind on leukocytes that contribute to leukocyte adhesion at sites of inflammation. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A165b is generated by alternative splicing of VEGF-A in the terminal exon, exon 8. VEGF-A165b is cytoprotective and antiangiogenic, but its effects on inflammation have not yet been elucidated. Therefore, we tested the hypothesis that VEGF-A165b regulates TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 expression and monocyte adhesion in RPE cells.
    Molecular vision 01/2014; 20:781-9. · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A (VEGF-A) can be generated as multiple isoforms by alternative splicing. Two families of isoforms have been described in humans, pro-angiogenic isoforms typified by VEGF-A<sub>165</sub>a, and anti-angiogenic isoforms typified by VEGF-A<sub>165</sub>b. The practical determination of expression levels of alternative isoforms of the same gene may be complicated by experimental protocols that favour one isoform over another, and the use of specific positive and negative controls is essential for the interpretation of findings on expression of the isoforms. Here we address some of the difficulties in experimental design when investigating alternative splicing of VEGF isoforms, and discuss the use of appropriate control paradigms. We demonstrate why use of specific control experiments can prevent assumptions that VEGF-A<sub>165</sub>b is not present, when in fact it is. We reiterate, and confirm previously published experimental design protocols that demonstrate the imp
    PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e68399. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE. Exudative age related macular degeneration (wet AMD) is treated by monthly injection into the eye of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) proteins. VEGF is alternatively spliced to produce numerous isoforms that differ in angiogenic activity. Serine-rich protein kinase-1 (SRPK1) has been identified as a regulator of pro-angiogenic VEGF splicing by phosphorylating serine-rich splicing factor-1 (SRSF1), which binds to VEGF pre-mRNA. We tested the hypothesis that topical (eye drop) SRPK1 selective inhibitors could be generated that reduce pro-angiogenic isoforms, and prevent choroidal neovascularization in vivo. METHODS. Novel inhibitors were tested for SRPK inhibition in vitro, pro-angiogenic VEGF production in RPE cells by PCR and ELISA, and for inhibition of choroidal neovascularisation in mice and rats. RESULTS. A novel disubstituted furan inhibitor was selective for the SRPK family of kinases and reduced expression of pro-angiogenic but not anti-angiogenic VEGF isoforms. This inhibitor and previously identified SRPK inhibitors significantly reduced choroidal neovascularisation in vivo. Topical adminstration of SRPK inhibitors dose dependently blocked CNV with an EC50 of 9µM. CONCLUSIONS. These results indicate that novel SRPK1 selective inhibitors could be potential novel topical (eye drop) therapeutics for wet AMD.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 07/2013; · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) A is generated as two isoform families by alternative RNA splicing, represented by VEGF-A165a and VEGF-A165b. These isoforms have opposing actions on vascular permeability, angiogenesis, and vasodilatation. The proangiogenic VEGF-A165a isoform is neuroprotective in hippocampal, dorsal root ganglia, and retinal neurons, but its propermeability, vasodilatatory, and angiogenic properties limit its therapeutic usefulness. In contrast, a neuroprotective effect of endogenous VEGF-A165b on neurons would be advantageous for neurodegenerative pathologies. Endogenous expression of human and rat VEGF-A165b was detected in hippocampal and cortical neurons. VEGF-A165b formed a significant proportion of total VEGF-A in rat brain. Recombinant human VEGF-A165b exerted neuroprotective effects in response to multiple insults, including glutamatergic excitotoxicity in hippocampal neurons, chemotherapy-induced cytotoxicity of dorsal root ganglion neurons, and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in rat retinal ischemia-reperfusion injury in vivo. Neuroprotection was dependent on VEGFR2 and MEK1/2 activation but not on p38 or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase activation. Recombinant human VEGF-A165b is a neuroprotective agent that effectively protects both peripheral and central neurons in vivo and in vitro through VEGFR2, MEK1/2, and inhibition of caspase-3 induction. VEGF-A165b may be therapeutically useful for pathologies that involve neuronal damage, including hippocampal neurodegeneration, glaucoma diabetic retinopathy, and peripheral neuropathy. The endogenous nature of VEGF-A165b expression suggests that non-isoform-specific inhibition of VEGF-A (for antiangiogenic reasons) may be damaging to retinal and sensory neurons.
    American Journal Of Pathology 07/2013; · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE. We tested the hypothesis that recombinant human VEGF-A165b and the serine arginine protein kinase (SRPK) inhibitor, SRPIN340, which controls splicing of the VEGF-A pre-mRNA, prevent neovascularisation in a rodent model of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). METHODS. In the 50/10 oxygen-induced retinopathy (50/10 OIR) model that exposes newborn rats to repeated cycles of 24 h of 50% oxygen alternating with 24 h of 10% oxygen, pups received intraocular injections of SRPIN340, vehicle, VEGF165b, anti-VEGF antibody or saline. Wholemounts of retinas were prepared for isolectin immunohistochemistry, and pre-retinal or intravitreal neovascularisation (PRNV) determined by clock hour analysis. RESULTS. The anti-VEGF antibody (p<0.04), rhVEGF165b (p<0.001) and SRPIN340 (p<0.05) significantly reduced PRNV compared with control eyes. SRPIN340 reduced the expression of pro-angiogenic VEGF165 without affecting VEGF165b expression. CONCLUSIONS These results suggest that splicing regulation through selective downregulation of pro-angiogenic VEGF isoforms (via SRPK1 inhibition) or competitive inhibition of VEGF signalling by rhVEGF165b has the potential to be an effective alternative to potential cyto- and neuro- toxic anti-VEGF agents in the treatment of pathological neovascularisation in the eye.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 06/2013; · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A (VEGF-A) can be generated as multiple isoforms by alternative splicing. Two families of isoforms have been described in humans, pro-angiogenic isoforms typified by VEGF-A165a, and anti-angiogenic isoforms typified by VEGF-A165b. The practical determination of expression levels of alternative isoforms of the same gene may be complicated by experimental protocols that favour one isoform over another, and the use of specific positive and negative controls is essential for the interpretation of findings on expression of the isoforms. Here we address some of the difficulties in experimental design when investigating alternative splicing of VEGF isoforms, and discuss the use of appropriate control paradigms. We demonstrate why use of specific control experiments can prevent assumptions that VEGF-A165b is not present, when in fact it is. We reiterate, and confirm previously published experimental design protocols that demonstrate the importance of using positive controls. These include using known target sequences to show that the experimental conditions are suitable for PCR amplification of VEGF-A165b mRNA for both q-PCR and RT-PCR and to ensure that mispriming does not occur. We also provide evidence that demonstrates that detection of VEGF-A165b protein in mice needs to be tightly controlled to prevent detection of mouse IgG by a secondary antibody. We also show that human VEGF165b protein can be immunoprecipitated from cultured human cells and that immunoprecipitating VEGF-A results in protein that is detected by VEGF-A165b antibody. These findings support the conclusion that more information on the biology of VEGF-A165b isoforms is required, and confirm the importance of the experimental design in such investigations, including the use of specific positive and negative controls.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e68399. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Bevacizumab improves survival for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer with chemotherapy, but no proven predictive markers exist. The VEGF-A splice form, VEGF(165)b, anti-angiogenic in animal models, binds bevacizumab. We tested the hypothesis that prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) would occur only in patients with low relative VEGF(165)b levels treated with bevacizumab.EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Blinded tumor samples from the phase III trial of FOLFOX4 ± bevacizumab were assessed for VEGF(165)b and VEGF(total) by immunohistochemistry and scored relative to normal tissue. A predictive index (PI) was derived from the ratio of VEGF(165)b:VEGF(total) for 44 samples from patients treated with FOLFOX + bevacizumab (arm A) and 53 samples from patients treated with FOLFOX4 (arm B), and PFS, and overall survival (OS) analyzed on the basis of PI relative to median ratio.RESULTS: Unadjusted analysis of PFS showed significantly better outcome for individuals with VEGF(165)b:VEGF(total) ratio scores below median treated with FOLFOX4 + bevacizumab compared with FOLFOX4 alone (median, 8.0 vs. 5.2 months; P < 0.02), but no effect of bevacizumab on PFS in patients with VEGF(165)b:VEGF(total) ratio >median (5.9 vs. 6.3 months). These findings held after adjustment for other clinical and demographic features. OS was increased in arm A (median, 13.6 months) compared with arm B (10.6 months) in the low VEGF(165)b group, but this did not reach statistical significance. There was no difference in the high VEGF(165)b:VEGF(total) group between FOLFOX + bevacizumab (10.8 months) and FOLFOX alone (11.3months).CONCLUSION: Low VEGF(165)b:VEGF(total) ratio may be a predictive marker for bevacizumab in metastatic colorectal cancer, and individuals with high relative levels may not benefit. Clin Cancer Res; 1-8. ©2012 AACR.
    Clinical Cancer Research 10/2012; · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, a family of differentially spliced proteins produced by glomerular podocytes, maintains glomerular filtration barrier function. The expression of VEGF molecules is altered in human nephropathy. We aimed to determine the roles of the angiogenic VEGF(164) isoform, and the antiangiogenic VEGF(165)b isoform in mature, adult glomeruli in vivo using conditional, inducible transgenic overexpression systems in mice. Podocyte-specific VEGF(164) overexpression (up to 100 days) was induced by oral administration of doxycycline to adult podocin-rtTA/TetO-VEGF(164) double transgenic mice. The consequences of simultaneous overexpression of VEGF(164) and VEGF(165)b were assessed in triple-transgenic podocin-rtTA/TetO-VEGF(164)/nephrin-VEGF(165)b mice. Persistent VEGF(164) overexpression did not cause proteinuria but did increase glomerular ultrafiltration coefficient between days 3 and 7. Despite persistently increased VEGF(164) levels, glomerular ultrafiltration coefficient normalized by day 14 and remained normal up to 100 days. Decreased subpodocyte space (SPS) coverage of the glomerular capillary wall accompanied increased glomerular hydraulic conductivity in VEGF(164)-overexpressing mice. The changes in glomerular ultrafiltration coefficient and SPS coverage induced by 7 days of overexpression of VEGF(164) were not present in triple transgenic VEGF(164) and VEGF(165)b overexpressing mice. These results indicate that 1) the adult mouse glomerulus is relatively resistant to induced VEGF(164) overexpression. VEGF(164) overexpression altered glomerular permeability but did not cause proteinuria in these mature, adult animals; 2) the SPS is a dynamic VEGF-responsive modulator of glomerular function; and 3) the balance of VEGF isoforms plays a critical role in the regulation of glomerular permeability. VEGF(165)b is capable of preventing VEGF(164)-induced changes in glomerular permeability and ultrastructure in vivo.
    AJP Renal Physiology 07/2012; 303(7):F1026-36. · 4.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with albuminuria and CKD frequently have vascular dysfunction but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Because the endothelial surface layer, a meshwork of surface-bound and loosely adherent glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans, modulates vascular function, its loss could contribute to both renal and systemic vascular dysfunction in proteinuric CKD. Using Munich-Wistar-Fromter (MWF) rats as a model of spontaneous albuminuric CKD, multiphoton fluorescence imaging and single-vessel physiology measurements revealed that old MWF rats exhibited widespread loss of the endothelial surface layer in parallel with defects in microvascular permeability to both water and albumin, in both continuous mesenteric microvessels and fenestrated glomerular microvessels. In contrast to young MWF rats, enzymatic disruption of the endothelial surface layer in old MWF rats resulted in neither additional loss of the layer nor additional changes in permeability. Intravenous injection of wheat germ agglutinin lectin and its adsorption onto the endothelial surface layer significantly improved glomerular albumin permeability. Taken together, these results suggest that widespread loss of the endothelial surface layer links albuminuric kidney disease with systemic vascular dysfunction, providing a potential therapeutic target for proteinuric kidney disease.
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 07/2012; 23(8):1339-50. · 8.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis is regulated by the balance of proangiogenic VEGF(165) and antiangiogenic VEGF(165)b splice isoforms. Mutations in WT1, the Wilms' tumor suppressor gene, suppress VEGF(165)b and cause abnormal gonadogenesis, renal failure, and Wilms' tumors. In WT1 mutant cells, reduced VEGF(165)b was due to lack of WT1-mediated transcriptional repression of the splicing-factor kinase SRPK1. WT1 bound to the SRPK1 promoter, and repressed expression through a specific WT1 binding site. In WT1 mutant cells SRPK1-mediated hyperphosphorylation of the oncogenic RNA binding protein SRSF1 regulated splicing of VEGF and rendered WT1 mutant cells proangiogenic. Altered VEGF splicing was reversed by wild-type WT1, knockdown of SRSF1, or SRPK1 and inhibition of SRPK1, which prevented in vitro and in vivo angiogenesis and associated tumor growth.
    Cancer cell 12/2011; 20(6):768-80. · 25.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis, a critical contributor to ocular as well as neoplastic diseases, is stimulated by endothelial production of angiopoietin-2 (Ang2). Our objective was to determine the requirement of ocular angiogenesis for Ang2 in animal models of disease. We developed and compared the effect of a novel human Ang2 antibody with a pan-angiopoietin strategy on angiogenesis in ocular angiogenesis in animal models of oxygen-induced retinopathy, and laser photocoagulation and confirmed its efficacy in xenografted human colorectal tumors. Human anti-Ang2 and anti-angiopoietin1(Ang1)/Ang2 antibodies blocked colorectal carcinoma growth in immuno-compromised mice (p < 0.001, n = 6). Injection of 1 μg of Ang2 or Ang2/Ang1 antibody-inhibited angiogenesis in models of retinal (p < 0.001, n = 6), and choroidal neovascularization (p < 0.001, n = 11-13 per group) to levels similar to that with anti-VEGF antibodies. There was no difference between Ang2 specific and Ang1/Ang2 bi-specific antibodies. In vitro, Ang2 antibodies showed no cytotoxicity and did not inhibit endothelial cell migration or proliferation. Thus, human Ang2 antibodies are potentially therapeutic agents for ocular neovascularization in models of retinal and choroidal neovascularization, in the absence of VEGF inhibition.
    Microcirculation (New York, N.Y.: 1994) 08/2011; 18(7):598-607. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The polyketide natural product borrelidin 1 is a potent inhibitor of angiogenesis and spontaneous metastasis. Affinity biopanning of a phage display library of colon tumor cell cDNAs identified the tandem WW domains of spliceosome-associated protein formin binding protein 21 (FBP21) as a novel molecular target of borrelidin, suggesting that borrelidin may act as a modulator of alternative splicing. In support of this idea, 1, and its more selective analog 2, bound to purified recombinant WW domains of FBP21. They also altered the ratio of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) isoforms in retinal pigmented endothelial (RPE) cells in favour of anti-angiogenic isoforms. Transfection of RPE cells with FBP21 altered the ratio in favour of pro-angiogenic VEGF isoforms, an effect inhibited by 2. These data implicate FBP21 in the regulation of alternative splicing and suggest the potential of borrelidin analogs as tools to deconvolute key steps of spliceosome function.
    Chemical Science 02/2011; 2011(2):273-278. · 8.31 Impact Factor
  • Steven J Harper, David O Bates
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 11/2010; 21(12):2009-11. · 8.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Neuroblastoma (NB) is the second most common extracranial tumour of childhood. Angiogenesis plays a crucial role in the growth and development of NB and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), one of the most potent stimuli of angiogenesis, has been studied extensively in vitro. VEGF(165) has been shown to be the predominant angiogenic isoform expressed in NB cell lines and tumours. In this study, we investigated the anti-angiogenic isoform of VEGF-A, generated from distal splice site selection in the terminal exon of VEGF (VEGF(165)b) and shown to be down-regulated in epithelial malignancies. The expression of both the pro- (VEGF(xxx)) and the anti-angiogenic (VEGF(xxx)b) isoforms was compared in a range of NB and ganglioneuroma (GN) tumours. Whereas VEGF(xxx)b and VEGF(xxx) were both expressed in GN, specific up-regulation of the VEGF(xxx) isoforms was seen in NB at RNA and protein levels. Highly tumourigenic NB cell lines also showed up-regulation of the angiogenic isoforms relative to VEGF(xxx)b compared to less tumourigenic cell lines, and the isoforms were differentially secreted. These results indicate that VEGF(165) is up-regulated in NB and that there is a difference in the balance of isoform expression from anti-angiogenic VEGF(165)b to angiogenic VEGF(165). Treatment with recombinant human VEGF(165)b significantly reduced the growth rate of established xenografts of SK-N-BE(2)-C cells (4.24 +/- 1.01 fold increase in volume) compared with those treated with saline (9.76 +/- 3.58, p < 0.01). Microvascular density (MVD) was significantly decreased in rhVEGF(165)b-treated tumours (19.4 +/- 1.9 vessels/mm(3)) in contrast to the saline-treated tumours (45.5 +/- 8.6 vessels/mm(3)). VEGF(165)b had no significant effect on the proliferative or apoptotic activity, viability or cytotoxicity of SK-N-BE(2)-C cells after 48 h. In conclusion, VEGF(165)b is an effective inhibitor of NB growth. These findings provide the rationale for further investigation of VEGF(165)b in NB and other paediatric malignancies.
    The Journal of Pathology 10/2010; 222(2):138-47. · 7.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF) is a potent mitogen and permogen that increases in the plasma and decreases in the alveolar space in respiratory diseases such as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). This observation has led to controversy over the role of this potent molecule in lung physiology and disease. We hypothesized that some of the VEGF previously detected in normal lung may be of the anti-angiogenic family (VEGF(xxx)b) with significant potential effects on VEGF bioactivity. VEGF(xxx)b protein expression was assessed by indirect immunohistochemistry in normal and ARDS tissue. Expression of VEGF(xxx)b was also detected by immunoblotting in normal lung tissue, primary human alveolar type II (ATII) cells, and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid in normal subjects and by ELISA in normal, "at risk," and ARDS subjects. The effect of VEGF(165) and VEGF(165)b on both human primary endothelial cells and alveolar epithelial cell proliferation was assessed by [(3)H]thymidine uptake. We found that VEGF(165)b was widely expressed in normal healthy lung tissue but is reduced in ARDS lung. VEGF(121)b and VEGF(165)b were present in whole lung, BAL, and ATII lysate. The proliferative effect of VEGF(165) on both human primary endothelial cells and human alveolar epithelial cells was significantly inhibited by VEGF(165)b (P < 0.01). These data demonstrate that the novel VEGF(xxx)b family members are expressed in normal lung and are reduced in ARDS. A specific functional effect on primary human endothelial and alveolar epithelial cells has also been shown. These data suggest that the VEGF(xxx)b family may have a role in repair after lung injury.
    AJP Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 03/2010; 298(6):L768-74. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A number of key ocular diseases, including diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, are characterized by localized areas of epithelial or endothelial damage, which can ultimately result in the growth of fragile new blood vessels, vitreous hemorrhage, and retinal detachment. VEGF-A(165), the principal neovascular agent in ocular angiogenic conditions, is formed by proximal splice site selection in its terminal exon 8. Alternative splicing of this exon results in an antiangiogenic isoform, VEGF-A(165)b, which is downregulated in diabetic retinopathy. Here the authors investigate the antiangiogenic activity of VEGF(165)b and its effect on retinal epithelial and endothelial cell survival. VEGF-A(165)b was injected intraocularly in a mouse model of retinal neovascularization (oxygen-induced retinopathy [OIR]). Cytotoxicity and cell migration assays were used to determine the effect of VEGF-A(165)b. VEGF-A(165)b dose dependently inhibited angiogenesis (IC(50), 12.6 pg/eye) and retinal endothelial migration induced by 1 nM VEGF-A(165) across monolayers in culture (IC(50), 1 nM). However, it also acts as a survival factor for endothelial cells and retinal epithelial cells through VEGFR2 and can stimulate downstream signaling. Furthermore, VEGF-A(165)b injection, while inhibiting neovascular proliferation in the eye, reduced the ischemic insult in OIR (IC(50), 2.6 pg/eye). Unlike bevacizumab, pegaptanib did not interact directly with VEGF-A(165)b. The survival effects of VEGF-A(165)b signaling can protect the retina from ischemic damage. These results suggest that VEGF-A(165)b may be a useful therapeutic agent in ischemia-induced angiogenesis and a cytoprotective agent for retinal pigment epithelial cells.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 03/2010; 51(8):4273-81. · 3.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) is the principal stimulator of angiogenesis in wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). However, VEGF-A is generated by alternate splicing into two families, the proangiogenic VEGF-A(xxx) family and the antiangiogenic VEGF-A(xxx)b family. It is the proangiogenic family that is responsible for the blood vessel growth seen in AMD. To determine the role of antiangiogenic isoforms of VEGF-A as inhibitors of choroidal neovascularization, the authors used a model of laser-induced choroidal neovascularization in the mouse eye and investigated VEGF-A(165)b effects on endothelial cells and VEGFRs in vitro. VEGF-A(165)b inhibited VEGF-A(165)-mediated endothelial cell migration with a dose effect similar to that of ranibizumab and bevacizumab and 200-fold more potent than that of pegaptanib. VEGF-A(165)b bound both VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 with affinity similar to that of VEGF-A(165). After laser injury, mice were injected either intraocularly or subcutaneously with recombinant human VEGF-A(165)b. Intraocular injection of rhVEGF-A(165)b gave a pronounced dose-dependent inhibition of fluorescein leakage, with an IC(50) of 16 pg/eye, neovascularization (IC(50), 0.8 pg/eye), and lesion as assessed by histologic staining (IC(50), 8 pg/eye). Subcutaneous administration of 100 microg twice a week also inhibited fluorescein leakage and neovascularization and reduced lesion size. These results show that VEGF-A(165)b is a potent antiangiogenic agent in a mouse model of age-related macular degeneration and suggest that increasing the ratio of antiangiogenic-to-proangiogenic isoforms may be therapeutically effective in this condition.
    Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 03/2010; 51(8):4282-8. · 3.43 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
350.47 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1999–2014
    • University of Bristol
      • • School of Veterinary Sciences
      • • School of Physiology and Pharmacology
      • • Medical School
      Bristol, England, United Kingdom
  • 2008
    • Bristol Urological Institute
      Bristol, England, United Kingdom
  • 2007
    • University of California, Davis
      • Department of Surgery
      Davis, CA, United States
    • University of the West of England, Bristol
      • Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
      Bristol, ENG, United Kingdom