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

Potentiated angiogenic effect of scatter factor/hepatocyte growth factor via induction of vascular endothelial growth factor: the case for paracrine amplification of angiogenesis.

BACKGROUND: Scatter factor/hepatocyte growth factor (SF/ HGF) is a pleiotropic growth factor that stimulates proliferation and migration of endothelial cells (ECs) via the c-Met receptor, present on ECs as well as other cell types, including smooth muscle cells (SMCs). We studied the effects of recombinant human (rh) SF/ HGF in vitro and in vivo in a rabbit model of hindlimb ischemia. We further compared these effects with those of recombinant human vascular endothelial growth factor (rhVEGF165), an EC-specific mitogen. METHODS AND RESULTS: In vitro, rhSF/ HGF and rhVEGF165 exhibited similar effects on proliferation and migration of ECs. When both cytokines were administered together, the result was an additive effect on EC proliferation and a synergistic effect on EC migration. Application of rhSF/ HGF to cultures of human SMCs resulted in the induction of VEGF mRNA and protein. In vivo, administration of rhSF/ HGF (500 microg x 3) was associated with significant improvements in collateral formation (P<.001) and regional blood flow (P<.0005) and with a significant reduction in muscle atrophy (P<.0001). These effects were significantly more pronounced than those of rhVEGF165 administered according to the same protocol (P<.05). Neither remote angiogenesis nor other pathological sequelae were observed with either rhSF/ HGF or rhVEGF165. CONCLUSIONS: The pleiotropic effects of certain growth factors may potentiate angiogenesis via a combination of direct effects on EC proliferation and migration and indirect effects that result in the generation of other potent EC mitogens from non-EC populations. The synergistic effects demonstrated when SF/ HGF and VEGF are administered together in vitro may be reproduced in vivo by SF/ HGF- induced upregulation of VEGF in vascular SMCs.[1]


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