Localization of VEGF-B in the mouse embryo suggests a paracrine role of the growth factor in the developing vasculature.
Vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-B) is structurally closely related to VEGF and binds one of its receptors, VEGFR-1. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry were used to localize VEGF-B mRNA and protein in embryonic mouse tissues. In 8.5-17.5 day embryos, VEGF-B was most prominently expressed in the developing myocardium, but not in the cardiac cushion tissue. The strong expression in the heart persisted at later developmental stages, while weaker signals were obtained from several other tissues, including developing muscle, bone, pancreas, adrenal gland, and from the smooth muscle cell layer of several larger vessels, but not from endothelial cells. VEGF-B is likely to act in a paracrine fashion, as its receptor is almost exclusively present in endothelial cells. VEGF-B may have a role in vascularization of the heart, skeletal muscles and developing bones, and in paracrine interactions between endothelial and surrounding muscle cells. (+info)
Cold-induced mRNA expression of angiogenic factors in rat brown adipose tissue.
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is the major site of non-shivering thermogenesis in rodents. Rapid angiogenesis is induced in association with adaptive hyperplasia of this tissue when the animal is exposed to cold. We demonstrated previously adrenergic activation of mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in rat BAT and its possible contribution to the cold-induced angiogenesis in this tissue. In the present study, we examined the effect of cold exposure on mRNA expression of other two angiogenic factors, VEGF-B and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), in rats. Conventional Northern blot analysis revealed abundant mRNA expression of VEGF-B as well as VEGF, but not bFGF, in BAT. When rats were exposed to cold at 4 degrees C, the VEGF mRNA level was increased by 2.7-fold in 1-4 hr and returned to the basal level within 24 hr. In contrast, the VEGF-B mRNA level did not change throughout the course of cold exposure. A significant expression of bFGF mRNA was detected in BAT by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). To evaluate the tissue bFGF mRNA level quantitatively, a competitive RT-PCR method was developed using a shorter RNA fragment as a competitor. The bFGF mRNA level in BAT was found to increase by 2.3-fold in 4 hr and decreased to the basal level within 24 hr after cold exposure. These results suggest that cold exposure leads to induce VEGF and bFGF rapidly and transiently in BAT, which in turn stimulate the proliferation of vascular endothelial cells in this tissue. (+info)
Differential binding of vascular endothelial growth factor B splice and proteolytic isoforms to neuropilin-1.
Vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-B) is expressed in various tissues, especially strongly in the heart, and binds selectively to one of the VEGF receptors, VEGFR-1. The two splice isoforms, VEGF-B(167) and VEGF-B(186), have identical NH(2)-terminal cystine knot growth factor domains but differ in their COOH-terminal domains which give these forms their distinct biochemical properties. In this study, we show that both splice isoforms of VEGF-B bind specifically to Neuropilin-1 (NRP1), a receptor for collapsins/semaphorins and for the VEGF(165) isoform. The NRP1 binding of VEGF-B could be competed by an excess of VEGF(165). The binding of VEGF-B(167) was mediated by the heparin binding domain, whereas the binding of VEGF-B(186) to NRP1 was regulated by exposure of a short COOH-terminal proline-rich peptide upon its proteolytic processing. In immunohistochemistry, NRP1 distribution was found to be overlapping or adjacent to known sites of VEGF-B expression in several tissues, in particular in the developing heart, suggesting the involvement of VEGF-B in NRP1-mediated signaling. (+info)
Placenta growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor B and C expression in microvascular endothelial cells and pericytes. Implication in autocrine and paracrine regulation of angiogenesis.
We have shown previously that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) synthesized by the cellular constituents of small vessels per se, viz. endothelial cells and pericytes, participates in the hypoxia-driven proliferation of both cell types (Nomura, M., Yamagishi, S., Harada, S., Hayashi, Y., Yamashima, T., Yamashita, J., Yamamoto, H. (1995) J. Biol. Chem. 270, 28316-28324; Yamagishi, S., Yonekura, H., Yamamoto, Y., Fujimori, H., Sakurai, S., Tanaka, N., and Yamamoto, H. (1999) Lab. Invest. 79, 501-509). In this study, we examined the expression of the recently isolated VEGF gene family members (placenta growth factor (PlGF), VEGF-B, and VEGF-C) in human dermal microvascular endothelial cells and bovine retinal pericytes cultured under various oxygen tensions. Quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analyses demonstrated that the two cell types possess not only VEGF (VEGF-A) mRNA, but also VEGF-B, VEGF-C, and PlGF mRNAs. Among them, only VEGF-A mRNA was induced under hypoxia. Competitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction showed that, under normoxic conditions, the rank order of mRNA content in endothelial cells was PlGF > VEGF-B > VEGF-C > VEGF-A and that mRNA coding for PlGF was expressed at >100-fold higher levels than VEGF-A mRNA. In pericytes, the rank order was VEGF-C > VEGF-A > VEGF-B > PlGF, and approximately 7-fold higher levels of VEGF-C mRNA compared with VEGF-A mRNA were noted in this cell type. Furthermore, antisense inhibition of PlGF protein production lowered the endothelial cell synthesis of DNA under hypoxic conditions. The results suggest that these VEGF family members may also take active parts in angiogenesis. (+info)
Mice lacking the vascular endothelial growth factor-B gene (Vegfb) have smaller hearts, dysfunctional coronary vasculature, and impaired recovery from cardiac ischemia.
Vascular endothelial growth factor-B (VEGF-B) is closely related to VEGF-A, an effector of blood vessel growth during development and disease and a strong candidate for angiogenic therapies. To further study the in vivo function of VEGF-B, we have generated Vegfb knockout mice (Vegfb(-/-)). Unlike Vegfa knockout mice, which die during embryogenesis, Vegfb(-/-) mice are healthy and fertile. Despite appearing overtly normal, Vegfb(-/-) hearts are reduced in size and display vascular dysfunction after coronary occlusion and impaired recovery from experimentally induced myocardial ischemia. These findings reveal a role for VEGF-B in the development or function of coronary vasculature and suggest potential clinical use in therapeutic angiogenesis. (+info)
High-level expression of angiogenic factors is associated with advanced tumor stage in human neuroblastomas.
Angiogenesis is essential for tumor growth and metastasis and depends on the production of angiogenic factors by tumor cells. Neuroblastoma (NB) is a common pediatric tumor of neural crest origin, which is biologically and clinically heterogeneous. Increased tumor vascular index correlates with poor outcome of NB. To determine which angiogenic factors contribute to NB angiogenesis and thereby support tumor progression, we examined the expression of eight angiogenic factors [vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), VEGF-B, VEGF-C, basic fibroblast growth factor, angiopoietin (Ang)-1, Ang-2, transforming growth factor alpha, and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)] by semiquantitative RT-PCR in 37 NB primary tumors and in 22 NB cell lines. We also analyzed the relationship between angiogenic factor expression and clinicopathological factors as well as patient survival. All eight angiogenic factors examined were expressed at various levels in NB cell lines and tumors, suggesting their involvement in NB angiogenesis. The expression levels of most angiogenic factors were correlated with each other, suggesting their synergy in regulating the angiogenic process. Significantly higher expression levels of VEGF, VEGF-B, VEGF-C, basic fibroblast growth factor, Ang-2, transforming growth factor alpha, and PDGF-A (P < 0.0001-0.026) were found in advanced-stage tumors (stages 3 and 4) compared with low-stage tumors (stages 1, 2, and 4S). Expression of PDGF-A was significantly associated with patient survival (P = 0.04). The redundancy in angiogenic factor expression suggests that inhibition of VEGF bioactivity alone might not be a sufficient approach for antiangiogenic therapy of human NB. (+info)
Expression of vascular endothelial growth factors A, B, C, and D and their relationships to lymph node status in lung adenocarcinoma.
Vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) C and D are novel members of the VEGF family that show some selectivity toward lymphatic endothelial cells. Recent studies suggest that VEGF-C may be involved in lymphangiogenesis and spread of cancer cells via lymphatic vessels. However, whether other VEGF family members play a role in lymph node metastasis is largely unknown. The aim of the present study was to explore whether expressions of VEGF-A, VEGF-B, VEGF-C, and VEGF-D are correlated with lymph node status in lung adenocarcinoma. Total RNA was isolated from 60 surgical specimens of lung adenocarcinoma with (n = 27) or without (n = 33) lymph node metastasis. The relative mRNA abundance of VEGF-A, VEGF-B, VEGF-C, and VEGF-D was measured by real-time reverse transcription-PCR analysis based on TaqMan fluorescence methodology. We found that, as single factors, expression of none of the four VEGF family members clearly correlated with the presence of lymph node metastasis. The only tendency noted was for higher VEGF-B and VEGF-C and lower VEGF-D levels in the node-positive group. However, two-way scatterplot analysis revealed that tumors with lymph node metastasis were associated with a pattern of low VEGF-D and high VEGF-A, VEGF-B, or VEGF-C, such that the ratios of VEGF-D:VEGF-A, VEGF-D:VEGF-B, or VEGF-D:VEGF-C were significantly lower in the node-positive group. Strikingly, none of the 11 tumors with high VEGF-D levels metastasized to lymph nodes. Furthermore, a low VEGF-D:VEGF-C ratio correlated with the presence of lymphatic invasion, and six of seven tumors with a pattern of very high expression of VEGF-C and low expression of VEGF-D displayed lymph vessel invasion that extended along the bronchovascular tree beyond the main tumor. Finally, levels of VEGF-A, but not VEGF-B or VEGF-C, were higher in tumors with large nodal metastasis (> or = 1 cm) than in those with small (< 1 cm) nodal metastasis. These results support the hypothesis that two VEGF family members are involved in lymph node metastasis at two distinct steps; VEGF-C facilitates entry of cancer cells into the lymph vasculature, whereas VEGF-A promotes the growth of metastatic tumor through angiogenesis. The results also suggest that the balance between VEGF-C and VEGF-D could be important rather than the level of VEGF-C alone. Whether a low VEGF-D level plays a causative role in lymph node metastasis requires further investigation. (+info)
Purification and refolding of vascular endothelial growth factor-B.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A interacts with the receptor tyrosine kinases VEGF-R1 and R2, and the importance of this interaction in endothelial cell (EC) function and blood vessel development has been well documented. Other ligands that interact differentially with these receptors and that are structurally related to VEGF-A include VEGF-B, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, and placenta growth factor (PLGF). Compared with VEGF-A, relatively little is known about the biological role of the VEGF-R1 specific ligand, VEGF-B. Two splice variant isoforms that differ at the COOH-terminus and which retain unique solubility characteristics are widely expressed throughout embryonic and postnatal development. Recent analysis of mice with a targeted deletion of the VEGF-B gene has revealed a defect in heart development and function consistent with an important role in vascularization of the myocardium (Bellomo D et al., 2000, Circ Res 86:E29-E35). To facilitate further characterization of VEGF-B, we have developed a protocol for expression and purification of refolded recombinant protein from Escherichia coli inclusion bodies (IBs). The approach developed resolves a number of significant issues associated with VEGF-B, including the ability to heterodimerize with endogenous VEGF-A when co-expressed in mammalian cells, a complex secondary structure incorporating inter- and intrachain disulfide bonds and hydrophobic characteristics that preclude the use of standard chromatographic resins. The resulting purified disulfide-linked homodimer was demonstrated to bind to VEGF-R1 and to compete with VEGF-A for binding to this receptor. (+info)