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

Greater free plasma VEGF and lower soluble VEGF receptor-1 in acute mountain sickness.

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a hypoxia-induced protein that produces vascular permeability, and limited evidence suggests a possible role for VEGF in the pathophysiology of acute mountain sickness (AMS) and/or high-altitude cerebral edema (HACE). Previous studies demonstrated that plasma VEGF alone does not correlate with AMS; however, soluble VEGF receptor (sFlt-1), not accounted for in previous studies, can bind VEGF in the circulation, reducing VEGF activity. In the present study, we hypothesized that free VEGF is greater and sFlt-1 less in subjects with AMS compared with well individuals at high altitude. Subjects were exposed to 4,300 m for 19-20 h (baseline 1,600 m). The incidence of AMS was determined by using a modified Lake Louise symptom score and the Environmental Symptoms Questionnaire for cerebral effects. Plasma was collected at low altitude and after 24 h at high altitude, or at time of illness, and then analyzed by ELISA for VEGF and for soluble VEGF receptor, sFlt-1. AMS subjects had lower sFlt-1 at both low and high altitude compared with well subjects and a significant rise in free plasma VEGF on ascent to altitude compared with well subjects. We conclude that increased free plasma VEGF on ascent to altitude is associated with AMS and may play a role in pathophysiology of AMS.[1]


  1. Greater free plasma VEGF and lower soluble VEGF receptor-1 in acute mountain sickness. Tissot van Patot, M.C., Leadbetter, G., Keyes, L.E., Bendrick-Peart, J., Beckey, V.E., Christians, U., Hackett, P. J. Appl. Physiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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