Author(s): Chung JY, Song Y, Wang Y, Magness RR, Zheng J
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Abstract Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent regulator of placental vascular function. Endothelial dysfunction is a key factor associated with preeclampsia. In this study, we examined expression of VEGF, endocrine gland-derived VEGF (EG-VEGF), VEGF receptors 1 and 2 (VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2), and neuropilin-1 and -2 (NP-1 and NP-2) in human placentas from women with normal and preeclamptic (PE) pregnancies using quantitative or semiquantitative PCR. We found that total VEGF mRNA expression was increased 2.8-fold (P < 0.05), along with increases in mRNA expression of VEGF121, 165, and 189 (P < 0.05; 1.7-, 1.9-, and 1.8-fold, respectively) in PE vs. normal placentas. Expression of VEGFR-1 mRNA, but not EG-VEGF and the other three VEGF receptors studied, was elevated (P < 0.05) 2.7-fold in PE vs. normal placentas. Protein expression of VEGF and its four receptors was determined using Western blot analysis. For VEGF, two major isoforms (VEGF165 and 189) were detected. For VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, NP-1, and NP-2, one major band was observed at 180, 235, 130, and 130 kDa, respectively. All of these bands were corresponding to their positive controls. Of these five proteins studied, only VEGFR-1 levels were increased (P < 0.05; 1.7-fold) in PE placentas. The expression of VEGF and the four VEGF receptors was confirmed using immunohistochemistry. They were primarily present in syncytiotrophoblasts and endothelial cells of villous capillaries and large vessels. Thus, together with previous reports that VEGFR-1 mediates trophoblast function and inhibits VEGF-induced angiogenesis and endothelium-dependent vasodilation, these data suggest that the increased VEGFR-1 expression may alter VEGF- mediated function on trophoblast and endothelial cells in PE placentas.
This article was published in J Clin Endocrinol Metab
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy