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Exp Neurol. 2004 Jun;187(2):388-402.

VEGF-mediated inflammation precedes angiogenesis in adult brain.

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Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Tarrytown, NY 10591, USA.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been shown to induce angiogenesis when infused continuously into adult rat brain tissue. In addition, VEGF has been shown to enhance permeability in brain vasculature. Adult rats were continuously infused with mouse VEGF into neocortex for up to 7 days. We studied the development of VEGF-induced vasculature in rat neocortex and evaluated the temporal expression of a wide variety of markers for inflammation and vascular leak in relation to the angiogenic response using immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. We report here that VEGF-mediated inflammation in brain is characterized by upregulation of ICAM-1 and the chemokine MIP-1alpha, as well as a preferential extravasation of monocytes. VEGF causes a dramatic breakdown of the blood-brain barrier, which is characterized by decreased investment of the vasculature with astroglial endfeet. Perivascular cells, in contrast, increase around the newly formed cerebrovasculature. In addition, breakdown of the blood-brain barrier, leukocyte extravasation, and extracellular matrix deposition occur before vascular proliferation. Furthermore, administration of low doses of VEGF induces permeability and inflammation without appreciable vascular proliferation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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