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J Clin Invest. 2004 Apr;113(7):1040-50.

VEGF-A stimulates lymphangiogenesis and hemangiogenesis in inflammatory neovascularization via macrophage recruitment.

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  • 1The Schepens Eye Research Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA. cursiefen@vision.eri.harvard.edu

Abstract

Lymphangiogenesis, an important initial step in tumor metastasis and transplant sensitization, is mediated by the action of VEGF-C and -D on VEGFR3. In contrast, VEGF-A binds VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 and is an essential hemangiogenic factor. We re-evaluated the potential role of VEGF-A in lymphangiogenesis using a novel model in which both lymphangiogenesis and hemangiogenesis are induced in the normally avascular cornea. Administration of VEGF Trap, a receptor-based fusion protein that binds and neutralizes VEGF-A but not VEGF-C or -D, completely inhibited both hemangiogenesis and the outgrowth of LYVE-1(+) lymphatic vessels following injury. Furthermore, both lymphangiogenesis and hemangiogenesis were significantly reduced in mice transgenic for VEGF-A(164/164) or VEGF-A(188/188) (each of which expresses only one of the three principle VEGF-A isoforms). Because VEGF-A is chemotactic for macrophages and we demonstrate here that macrophages in inflamed corneas release lymphangiogenic VEGF-C/VEGF-D, we evaluated the possibility that macrophage recruitment plays a role in VEGF-A-mediated lymphangiogenesis. Either systemic depletion of all bone marrow-derived cells (by irradiation) or local depletion of macrophages in the cornea (using clodronate liposomes) prior to injury significantly inhibited both hemangiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. We conclude that VEGF-A recruitment of monocytes/macrophages plays a crucial role in inducing inflammatory neovascularization by supplying/amplifying signals essential for pathological hemangiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis.

PMID:
15057311
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC379325
Free PMC Article
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