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

Activation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 sustains angiogenesis and Bcl-2 expression via the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway in endothelial cells.

Vascular insufficiency and retinal ischemia precede many proliferative retinopathies and stimulate secretion of various vasoactive growth factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor ( VEGF) and placenta growth factor (PlGF). It is unclear, however, how PlGF, which is elevated in proliferative diabetic retinopathy and is a VEGF homolog that binds only to VEGF receptor (VEGFR)-1, promotes pathological angiogenesis. When primary microvascular endothelial cells were grown on collagen gels, PlGF-containing ligands upregulated Bcl-2 expression and stimulated the formation of capillary-like tube networks that were retained for up to 14 days in culture. The inhibition of VEGFR-1 results in a dramatic decrease in the number of capillary connections, indicating that VEGFR-1 ligands promote branching angiogenesis. In contrast, VEGF-induced tube formations and Bcl-2 expression were significantly decreased at the end of this period. Flow cytometry analysis of annexin-V/propidium iodide-stained cells revealed that PlGF and PlGF/VEGF heterodimer inhibited apoptosis in serum-deprived endothelial cells. These two growth factors stimulated a survival signaling pathway phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase ( PI3K), as identified by increased Akt phosphorylation and because blocking PI3K signalling by adenovirus- mediated overexpression of wild-type phosphatase and tensin homolog on chromosome 10 (PTEN) disrupted angiogenesis and decreased Bcl-2 expression by PlGF and PlGF/ VEGF heterodimer, whereas a dominant-negative PTEN mutant enhanced endothelial sprout formation and Bcl-2 expression. Together, these findings indicate that PlGF-containing ligands contribute to pathological angiogenesis by prolonging cell survival signals and maintaining vascular networks.[1]

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