Protective role of vascular endothelial growth factor in endotoxin-induced acute lung injury in mice

Hidefumi Koh, Sadatomo Tasaka, Naoki Hasegawa, Wakako Yamasawa, Mie Shimizu, Morio Nakamura, Makoto Yonemaru, Eiji Ikeda, Yoshiyuki Adachi, Seitaro Fujishima, Kazuhiro Yamaguchi, Akitoshi Ishizaka

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Abstract

Background: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a substance that stimulates new blood vessel formation, is an important survival factor for endothelial cells. Although overexpressed VEGF in the lung induces pulmonary edema with increased lung vascular permeability, the role of VEGF in the development of acute lung injury remains to be determined.Methods: To evaluate the role of VEGF in the pathogenesis of acute lung injury, we first evaluated the effects of exogenous VEGF and VEGF blockade using monoclonal antibody on LPS-induced lung injury in mice. Using the lung specimens, we performed TUNEL staining to detect apoptotic cells and immunostaining to evaluate the expression of apoptosis-associated molecules, including caspase-3, Bax, apoptosis inducing factor (AIF), and cytochrome C. As a parameter of endothelial permeability, we measured the albumin transferred across human pulmonary artery endothelial cell (HPAEC) monolayers cultured on porous filters with various concentrations of VEGF. The effect of VEGF on apoptosis HPAECs was also examined by TUNEL staining and active caspase-3 immunoassay.Results: Exogenous VEGF significantly decreased LPS-induced extravascular albumin leakage and edema formation. Treatment with anti-VEGF antibody significantly enhanced lung edema formation and neutrophil emigration after intratracheal LPS administration, whereas extravascular albumin leakage was not significantly changed by VEGF blockade. In lung pathology, pretreatment with VEGF significantly decreased the numbers of TUNEL positive cells and those with positive immunostaining of the pro-apoptotic molecules examined. VEGF attenuated the increases in the permeability of the HPAEC monolayer and the apoptosis of HPAECs induced by TNF-α and LPS. In addition, VEGF significantly reduced the levels of TNF-α- and LPS-induced active caspase-3 in HPAEC lysates.Conclusion: These results suggest that VEGF suppresses the apoptosis induced by inflammatory stimuli and functions as a protective factor against acute lung injury.

Original languageEnglish
Article number60
JournalRespiratory Research
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug 25

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

Cite this

Koh, H., Tasaka, S., Hasegawa, N., Yamasawa, W., Shimizu, M., Nakamura, M., Yonemaru, M., Ikeda, E., Adachi, Y., Fujishima, S., Yamaguchi, K., & Ishizaka, A. (2007). Protective role of vascular endothelial growth factor in endotoxin-induced acute lung injury in mice. Respiratory Research, 8, [60]. https://doi.org/10.1186/1465-9921-8-60