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Angiogenesis. 2001;4(1):53-60.

Involvement of VEGFR-2 (kdr/flk-1) but not VEGFR-1 (flt-1) in VEGF-A and VEGF-C-induced tube formation by human microvascular endothelial cells in fibrin matrices in vitro.

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Gaubius Laboratory TNO-PG, Zernikedreef 9, 2333 CK Leiden, The Netherlands.


Different forms of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and their cellular receptors (VEGFR) are associated with angiogenesis, as demonstrated by the lethality of VEGF-A, VEGFR-1 or VEGFR-2 knockout mice. Here we have used an in vitro angiogenesis model, consisting of human microvascular endothelial cells (hMVEC) cultured on three-dimensional (3D) fibrin matrices to investigate the roles of VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 in the process of VEGF-A and VEGF-C-induced tube formation. Soluble VEGFR-1 completely inhibited the tube formation induced by the combination of VEGF-A and TNF alpha (VEGF-A/TNF alpha). This inhibition was not observed when tube formation was induced by VEGF-C/TNF alpha or bFGF/TNF alpha. Blocking monoclonal antibodies specific for VEGFR-2, but not antibodies specifically blocking VEGFR-1, were able to inhibit the VEGF-A/TNF alpha-induced as well as the VEGF-C/TNF alpha-induced tube formation in vitro. P1GF-2, which interacts only with VEGFR-1, neither induced tube formation in combination with TNF alpha, nor inhibited or stimulated by itself the VEGF-A/TNF alpha-induced tube formation in vitro. These data indicate that VEGF-A or VEGF-C activation of the VEGFR-2, and not of VEGFR-1, is involved in the formation of capillary-like tubular structures of hMVEC in 3D fibrin matrices used as a model of repair-associated or pathological angiogenesis in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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