Reports of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (May 2014)

Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor from Embryonic Status to Cardiovascular Pathology

  • Mohsen Azimi-Nezhad

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 2, no. 2
pp. 59 – 69


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Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a multifunctional cytokine with distinct functions in angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis, vascular permeability, and hematopoiesis. VEGF is a highly conserved, disulfide-bonded dimeric glycoprotein of 34 to 45 kDa produced by several cell types including fibroblasts, neutrophils, endothelial cells, and peripheral blood mononuclear cells, particularly T lymphocytes and macrophages. Six VEGF isoforms are generated as a result of alternative splicing from a single VEGF gene, consisting of 121, 145, 165, 183, 189, or 206 amino acids. VEGF121, VEGF145, and VEGF165 are secreted whereas VEGF183, VEGF189, and VEGF206 are cell membrane-bound. VEGF145 has a key role during the vascularization of the human ovarian follicle and corpus luteum, in the placentation and embryonic periods, and in bone and wound healing, while VEGF165 is the most abundant and biologically active isoform. VEGF has been linked with a number of vascular pathologies including cardiovascular diseases such ischemic heart disease, heart failure, stroke, and diabetes and its related complications. In this review we aimed to present some important roles of VEGF in a number of clinical issues and indicate its involvement in several phenomena from the initial steps of the embryonic period to cardiovascular diseases.