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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The angiogenic peptide vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is expressed in chronic sacral pressure ulcers.

Chronic decubital lesions have a limited potential to heal. Evidence suggests that a lack of local revascularization is involved in this aetiology. The present study investigated the expression of one of the most important angiogenic factors, the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), in different regions of sacral chronic decubital lesions and in normal skin by immunohistochemical, biochemical, molecular, and cell biology methods. To elucidate some of the factors responsible for the induction of VEGF in chronic skin ulcers, cultured fibroblasts were exposed to hypoxia and/or growth factors. In the central part (zone I) of chronic ulcers and in normal skin, immunostaining for VEGF remained largely negative. However, VEGF could be immunostained in cells in the granulation tissue adjacent to central necrosis (zone II). VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2; KDR) could also be identified in microvessels. High VEGF levels were present in homogenates from granulation tissue by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and western blot experiments: low concentrations were found in areas of central necrosis and negligible amounts were present in normal skin. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed that only the splice variants VEGF(121) and VEGF(165) were expressed. In cultured fibroblasts, hypoxia or platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) raised VEGF production. The angiogenic peptide VEGF is present in all zones of chronic decubital ulcers. Its strong expression within the adjacent granulation tissue supports the view that there is no deficiency of VEGF. VEGF may be involved in the healing process of chronic skin lesions, but it seems that loss of another factor may be responsible for the poor healing response.[1]


  1. The angiogenic peptide vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is expressed in chronic sacral pressure ulcers. Pufe, T., Paulsen, F., Petersen, W., Mentlein, R., Tsokos, M. J. Pathol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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