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Eur J Cell Biol. 2000 Nov;79(11):850-7.

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) stimulates monocyte migration through endothelial monolayers via increased integrin expression.

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  • 1Department of Experimental Cardiology, Max-Planck-Institute for Physiological and Clinical Research, Bad Nauheim, Germany.


Monocytes play an important role in collateral vessel formation (arteriogenesis) by attaching to activated endothelium and by invading the walls of innate collateral vessels where they produce growth factors. Previous studies have demonstrated that this process can be promoted by several chemokines and growth factors. In this study we examined the interaction between monocytes and endothelium under stimulation of the angiogenic agent vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). We report here the novel finding that VEGF stimulates the expression of the alphaL-, alphaM- and beta2-integrin monomers. In functional assays and by using neutralizing antibodies it was shown that VEGF stimulates adhesion of monocytes to human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC), and increased transmigration through endothelial monolayers is dependent on interaction of monocyte beta2-integrins with its endothelial counter ligand ICAM-1. Based on these in vitro data we hypothesize that the positive effect of VEGF on arteriogenesis may involve monocyte activation.

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