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Exp Mol Med. 2012 Jan 31;44(1):1-9. doi: 10.3858/emm.2012.44.1.025.

The discovery of placenta growth factor and its biological activity.

Author information

  • Angiogenesis Laboratory and Stem Cell Fate Laboratory, Institute of Genetics and Biophysics 'Adriano Buzzati-Traverso', Napoli, Italy. sandro.defalco@igb.cnr.it

Abstract

Angiogenesis is a complex biological phenomenon crucial for a correct embryonic development and for post-natal growth. In adult life, it is a tightly regulated process confined to the uterus and ovary during the different phases of the menstrual cycle and to the heart and skeletal muscles after prolonged and sustained physical exercise. Conversly, angiogenesis is one of the major pathological changes associated with several complex diseases like cancer, atherosclerosis, arthritis, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. Among the several molecular players involved in angiogenesis, some members of VEGF family, VEGF-A, VEGF-B and placenta growth factor (PlGF), and the related receptors VEGF receptor 1 (VEGFR-1, also known as Flt-1) and VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2, also known as Flk-1 in mice and KDR in human) have a decisive role. In this review, we describe the discovery and molecular characteristics of PlGF, and discuss the biological role of this growth factor in physiological and pathological conditions.

PMID:
22228176
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3277892
Free PMC Article

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