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Cytokine. 2013 Feb;61(2):602-7. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2012.10.024. Epub 2012 Nov 30.

Associations of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) with adhesion and inflammation molecules in a healthy population.

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Cardiovascular Genetics Research Unit, EA4373, University of Lorraine, F-54000 Nancy, France.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is implicated in numerous pathologies through complex relationships with cellular adhesion molecules (CAMs) and inflammation markers. These have not been assessed in non-pathological conditions. Our aim was the evaluation of associations between VEGF and CAM/inflammation molecules in a healthy population, and of possible genomic interplays in order to better apprehend the underlying mechanisms leading to the pathology. We examined the associations between VEGF and ICAM-1, VCAM-1, E-, L-, P-selectins, TNF-α, CRP and IL-6 plasma levels in 403 healthy individuals. Gene expression of CAM/inflammation molecules and VEGF isoforms (121, 145, 165, and 189) were quantified in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The effect of four genetic variants (explaining ≈ 50% of the heritability of circulating VEGF levels) and of their interactions on plasma and mRNA levels of CAM/inflammation molecules was examined. VEGF was associated with ICAM-1 and E-selectin in plasma. In PBMCs, VEGF(145) mRNA was associated with ICAM-1, L-selectin and TNF-α expression. Interactions of the genetic variants were shown to affect ICAM-1, E-selectin, IL-6 and TNF-α plasma levels, while rs4416670 was associated with L-selectin expression. These findings propose a biological connection between VEGF and CAM/inflammation markers. Common genetic and transcriptional mechanisms may link these molecules and control their effect in healthy conditions.

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