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Lab Invest. 1997 Apr;76(4):517-31.

Placenta growth factor-1 is chemotactic, mitogenic, and angiogenic.

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Department of Pharmacology, University of Florence, Italy.


The placental-derived growth factor (PIGF) is a dimeric glycoprotein showing a high degree of sequence similarity to the vascular endothelial growth factor. Alternative splicing of the PIGF primary transcript gives rise to two forms, named PIGF-1 and PIGF-2, which differ only in the insertion of a highly basic 21-amino acid stretch at the carboxyl end. The presence of the PIGF mRNA in thyroid, placenta, lung, and goiter has indicated the tissues where this factor functions. However, the role of PIGF in vascular development has not yet been clearly established. In the present study, we described the purification of PIGF-1 from overexpressing eukaryotic cells and then measured the angiogenic activity of the purified PIGF-1 in vivo in the rabbit cornea and the chick chorioallantoic membrane assays. In both in vivo assays, PIGF-1 induced a strong neovascularization process that was blocked by affinity-purified anti-PIGF-1 antibody. In the avascular cornea, PIGF-1 induced angiogenesis in a dose-dependent manner and seemed to be at least as effective (if not more effective) than vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor under the same conditions and at the same concentration. PIGF-1 was shown to induce cell growth and migration of endothelial cells from bovine coronary postcapillary venules and from human umbilical veins. In these two in vitro assays, PIGF-1 seemed to have a comparable effect to that of vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor on the cultured microvascular endothelium (eg, capillary venule endothelial cells). In summary, this is the first study to demonstrate that PIGF-1 can induce angiogenesis in vivo and stimulate the migration and proliferation of endothelial cells in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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