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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Jun 9;95(12):7086-91.

Patterns of brain angiogenesis after vascular endothelial growth factor administration in vitro and in vivo.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20037, USA.

Abstract

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a secreted endothelial cell mitogen that has been shown to induce vasculogenesis and angiogenesis in many organ systems and tumors. Considering the importance of VEGF to embryonic vascularization and survival, the effects of administered VEGF on developing or adult cerebrovasculature are unknown: can VEGF alter brain angiogenesis or mature cerebrovascular patterns? To examine these questions we exposed fetal, newborn, and adult rat cortical slice explants to graduated doses of recombinant VEGF. The effects of another known angiogenic factor, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), were evaluated in a comparable manner. In addition, we infused VEGF via minipump into the adult cortex. Significant angiogenic effects were found in all VEGF experiments in a dose-responsive manner that were abolished by the addition of VEGF neutralizing antibody. Fetal and newborn explants had a highly complex network of branched vessels that immunoexpressed the flt-1 VEGF receptor, and flk-1 VEGF receptor expression was determined by reverse transcription-PCR. Adult explants had enlarged, dilated vessels that appeared to be an expansion of the existing network. All bFGF-treated explants had substantially fewer vascular profiles. VEGF infusions produced both a remarkable localized neovascularization and, unexpectedly, the expression of flt-1 on reactive astrocytes but not on endothelial cells. The preponderance of neovascularization in vitro and in vivo, however, lacked the blood-brain barrier (BBB) phenotype marker, GLUT-1, suggesting that in brain the angiogenic role of VEGF may differ from a potential BBB functional role, i.e., transport and permeability. VEGF may serve an important capacity in neovascularization or BBB alterations after brain injury.

PMID:
9618543
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC22748
Free PMC Article
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