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J Appl Physiol (1985). 1999 Jan;86(1):260-4.

Prolonged hypoxia increases vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA and protein in adult mouse brain.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio 44106, USA.


Brain hypoxia induces an increase in brain vascularity, presumably mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), but it is unclear whether VEGF is required to maintain the increase. In these studies, brain VEGF mRNA and protein levels were measured in adult mice kept in hypobaric chambers at 0.5 atm for 0, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 7, and 21 days. Hypoxia was accompanied by a transient increase of VEGF mRNA expression: twofold by 0.5 day and a maximum of fivefold by 2 days; these were followed by a decrease at 4 days and a return to basal levels by 7-21 days. VEGF protein expression induced by hypoxia was bimodal, initially paralleling VEGF mRNA. There was an initial small increase at 12 h that reached a maximum by day 2, and, after a transient decrease on day 4, the protein expression increased again on day 7 before it returned to normoxic levels after 21 days. Thus, despite continued hypoxia, both VEGF mRNA and protein levels returned to basal after 7 days. These data suggest a metabolic negative-feedback system for VEGF expression during prolonged hypoxia in the brain.

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