How much is too much VEGF?


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is responsible for the growth of blood vessels and VEGF delivery is being tested in clinical trials for its ability to promote vessel growth in heart and muscle when adequate blood supply is lacking. However, the expression of VEGF needs to be tightly controlled in order to avoid excessive vessel growth and the development of abnormally dense collections of vessels known as hemangiomas.

To address this need, Helen Blau and colleagues from Stanford University investigated the relationship between VEGF dosage and blood vessel formation. In their report in the February 16 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation the authors implanted myoblast cells, which expressed VEGF, into the muscles of mice and documented the resulting new vessel growth. Blau and colleagues were able to distinguish a threshold level of VEGF that distinguished normal from abnormal blood vessel growth. The data indicate that long-term continuous delivery of VEGF, when maintained below a threshold microenvironmental level, can lead to normal blood vessel growth. These findings may guide strategies for therapeutic VEGF delivery.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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