ABSTRACT: Obliterative bronchiolitis (OB) is the major limitation for long-term survival of lung allograft recipients. The exact molecular and cellular mechanisms contributing to obliterative lesion formation are unknown. Pathological characteristics of OB are epithelial damage, peribronchial inflammation, and increasing obliteration of bronchioli. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an angiogenic growth factor that exerts proinflammatory effects by increasing endothelial permeability and inducing expression of endothelial adhesion molecules. We investigated the role of VEGF in the development of OB in rat tracheal allografts and the role of VEGF receptors (VEGFR)-1 and -2 in the development of OB in mouse tracheal allografts. In nontreated allografts, with increasing loss of epithelium and airway occlusion, VEGF messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein expression vanished in the epithelium and increased in smooth muscle cells and mononuclear inflammatory cells compared with syngeneic grafts. Intragraft VEGF overexpression by adenoviral transfer of a mouse VEGF164 gene led to a decrease in epithelial necrosis but increased luminal occlusion by >50% compared with AdLacZ-treated rat tracheal allografts. When compared with the control immunoglobulin (Ig)G group, simultaneous treatment with antibodies against VEGFR-1 and -2 significantly lowered the degree of luminal occlusion of mouse tracheal allografts.
Transplantation Proceedings 12/2006; 38(10):3266-7. · 1.00 Impact Factor