Author(s): Xia YP, Li B, Hylton D, Detmar M, Yancopoulos GD,
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Abstract Gene therapy approaches involving vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to promote therapeutic angiogenesis are under consideration for conditions ranging from ischemic heart disease to nonhealing skin ulcers. Here we make the surprising observation that the transgenic delivery of VEGF to the skin results in a profound inflammatory skin condition with many of the cellular and molecular features of psoriasis, including the characteristic vascular changes, epidermal alterations, and inflammatory infiltrates. Even longstanding psoriatic disease remains dependent on the transgenic VEGF in this model because it can be effectively reversed by the addition of VEGF Trap, a potent VEGF antagonist. Previous attempts to faithfully replicate the psoriatic phenotype through the transgenic delivery of epidermal keratinocyte growth factors or inflammatory mediators generated phenotypes with only partial resemblance to human psoriasis, leaving unanswered questions about the etiology of this disease. The ability of transgenic VEGF to induce a psoriasiform phenotype suggests a new etiology and treatment approach for this disease and further substantiates emerging concerns about possible proinflammatory adverse effects that might be associated with therapeutic attempts to deliver VEGF.
This article was published in Blood
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research