Expression of placenta growth factor is regulated by both VEGF and hyperglycaemia via VEGFR-2

Bojun Zhao, Jun Cai, Mike Boulton
Microvascular Research 2004, 68 (3): 239-46
Placenta growth factor (PlGF) has been implicated in both physiological and pathological angiogenesis; however, little is known about what regulates its expression. In this study, retinal microvascular endothelial cells and pericytes were exposed to varying concentrations of VEGF and glucose and PlGF expression measured by RT-PCR and Western blotting. Both PlGF mRNA and protein were observed in unstimulated microvascular endothelial cells with only weak expression in pericytes. In endothelial cells, VEGF (100 ng/ml) and glucose (15 mM) induced an increase in expression of PlGF at both the mRNA and protein level while no effect was observed for pericytes. The increase in PlGF expression could be totally abolished by blocking VEGFR-2, and in the case of glucose by neutralising VEGF. VEGF-stimulated PlGF expression was largely inhibited by PD 98059, an inhibitor of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and partially by GF 109203X, an inhibitor of protein kinase C (PKC), indicating that VEGF up-regulates PlGF expression via the MAPK signalling pathway and partially through PKC. Taken together, our findings suggest that VEGF orchestrates the contribution of PlGF in angiogenesis via more than one intracellular pathway and that hyperglycaemia, as occurs in diabetes, is an important regulator of PlGF expression via VEGF up-regulation.

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