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Acta Neuropathol. 2001 Sep;102(3):216-26.

Vascular endothelial growth factor-A and -C protein up-regulation and early angiogenesis in a rat photothrombotic ring stroke model with spontaneous reperfusion.

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Department of Medicine, University of Umeå, Sweden.


This study explored the temporal expression pattern of two subtypes of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) proteins and three subforms of their receptors as well as endothelial proliferation in adult rats subjected to photothrombotic ring stroke with spontaneous reperfusion in the cortical region at risk. The exposed crania of halothane-anesthetized, temperature- and blood gas-controlled male Wistar rats were irradiated with a ring laser beam started simultaneously with systemic injection of the photosensitizer erythrosin B. Rats were repeatedly injected with 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) after stroke induction. Immunohistochemistry of coronal brain sections showed that VEGF protein subtype C increased simultaneously with subtype A in the ring lesion region at 2 h after irradiation. In the cortical region at risk (i.e., the penumbra-like zone), increased VEGF-C and VEGF-A immunostaining was seen at 24 h with sustained appearance up to 72 h after ischemic onset. Correspondingly, the VEGF-C-specific receptor flt-4 and the VEGF-A receptors flt-1 and flk-1 were up-regulated in a temporal sequence similar to that of their agonist proteins in the cortical ring lesion and the region at risk. At 48 h after stroke induction, proliferating BrdU-immunopositive endothelial cells formed microvessels in the post-ischemic cortical region at risk. These vessels became more pronounced at 72 h and were still visible at 100 days after the stroke. This study suggests that VEGF-C and its receptor flt-4 may cooperate with VEGF-A and its receptors flt-1 and flk-1 to promote early angiogenesis after stroke, which may in turn contribute to spontaneous reperfusion in this focal thromboembolic stroke model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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