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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Feb 4;1401(2):187-94.

Upregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor by angiotensin II in rat heart endothelial cells.

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Cecile Cox Quillen Laboratory of Geriatric Research, James Quillen School of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, USA.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent mitogen for endothelial cells and a vascular permeability factor. In this study we found that the addition of angiotensin II (AII) to rat heart endothelial cells induced VEGF mRNA production. VEGF mRNA levels reached a plateau within 2 h after the addition of AII and decreased after 4 h. The induction was superinduced by cycloheximide and blocked by actinomycin D. Losartan, an AT1 receptor antagonist, abolished the induction of VEGF mRNA by AII, whereas PD 123319, an AT2 receptor antagonist, had no effect on VEGF mRNA induction. H7, a protein kinase C inhibitor, blocked the induction. RT-PCR experiments showed two mRNA species (VEGF 120 and VEGF 164) in these cells and both species were stimulated by AII. Transient transfection experiment showed that VEGF promoter activity was increased 2.2-fold upon AII stimulation. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay revealed an enhanced binding of transcription factors AP-1 and NF-kappa B. Immunoblot analysis showed that the amount of secreted VEGF was elevated in the medium 8 h after AII stimulation. Our results demonstrate for the first time that the upregulation of VEGF by AII may play a significant role in AII-induced hyperpermeability.

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