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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Feb 7;301(2):371-7.

VEGFR-2-specific ligand VEGF-E induces non-edematous hyper-vascularization in mice.

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  • 1Division of Genetics, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokane-dai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.


VEGF family members play important roles in angiogenesis and vascular permeability. VEGF-A-transgenic mice showed an increased vascularization with edema due to hyper-vascular permeability and subcutaneous hemorrhage as side effects. VEGF-A binds and activates two receptors, VEGFR-1 (Flt-1) and VEGFR-2 (KDR/Flk-1). To dissect the signals of these two receptors, we generated transgenic mice overexpressing either the VEGFR-2-specific ligand VEGF-E(NZ-7) or VEGFR-1-specific ligand PlGF-II under the control of the Keratin-14 promoter. VEGF-E-mice showed a significant increase in vascularization (about 10-fold compared to control mice) in subcutaneous tissues, whereas PlGF-mice showed only a 2-3-fold increase. Interestingly, VEGF-E-mice did not show any clear edematous lesions or hemorrhagic spots on the skin. Microscopically, VEGF-E-induced capillary networks have a well organized structure with the recruitment of pericytes. These results indicate that VEGF-E is a new angiogenic agent with less side effects for clinical usage.

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