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      The Role of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in the Kidney in Health and Disease

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          Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent endothelial cell mitogen, angiogenic factor and enhancer of vascular permeability. Expressed in the epithelial cells of the developing glomerulus and tubular epithelium, VEGF plays an important role in the development and maintenance of the early vasculature of the kidney. Here, we review the available literature regarding the expression and function of VEGF both in the developing and healthy adult kidney. Furthermore, we highlight how VEGF expression is altered in the diseased kidney and how this modulated expression may impact on and reflect underlying functional changes occurring during the disease process. As discussed, many controversial issues remain, particularly concerning the role of VEGF in the diseased kidney. That VEGF has been proposed as a potential future therapeutic target for the management of some renal diseases requires first that the precise role of VEGF in the normal kidney and various renal pathologies be further and more clearly defined.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Tumor cells secrete a vascular permeability factor that promotes accumulation of ascites fluid

           D Senger,  S Galli,  A. Dvorak (1983)
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            Phase II, randomized trial comparing bevacizumab plus fluorouracil (FU)/leucovorin (LV) with FU/LV alone in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

            This phase II trial investigated the safety and efficacy of two doses of bevacizumab, a monoclonal antibody to vascular endothelial growth factor, plus fluorouracil (FU)/leucovorin (LV) versus FU/LV alone in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. One hundred four previously untreated patients with measurable metastatic colorectal cancer were randomly assigned to one of the following three treatment groups: 36 to FU (500 mg/m(2))/LV (500 mg/m(2)) alone, 35 to FU/LV + low-dose bevacizumab (5 mg/kg every 2 weeks), and 33 to FU/LV + high-dose bevacizumab (10 mg/kg every 2 weeks). FU/LV was given weekly for the first 6 weeks of each 8-week cycle. Compared with the FU/LV control arm, treatment with bevacizumab (at both dose levels) plus FU/LV resulted in higher response rates (control arm, 17%, 95% confidence interval [CI], 7% to 34%; low-dose arm, 40%, 95% CI, 24% to 58%; high-dose arm, 24%, 95% CI, 12% to 43%), longer median time to disease progression (control arm, 5.2 months, 95% CI, 3.5 to 5.6 months; low-dose arm, 9.0 months, 95% CI, 5.8 to 10.9 months; high-dose arm, 7.2 months, 95% CI, 3.8 to 9.2 months), and longer median survival (control arm, 13.8 months; 95% CI, 9.1 to 23.0 months; low-dose arm, 21.5 months, 95% CI, 17.3 to undetermined; high-dose arm, 16.1 months; 95% CI, 11.0 to 20.7 months). After cross-over, two of 22 patients had a partial response to bevacizumab alone. Thrombosis was the most significant adverse event and was fatal in one patient. Hypertension, proteinuria, and epistaxis were other potential safety concerns. The encouraging results of this randomized trial support further study of bevacizumab 5 mg/kg plus chemotherapy as first-line therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer.
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              Vascular endothelial growth factor acts as a survival factor for newly formed retinal vessels and has implications for retinopathy of prematurity.

              Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is initiated by hyperoxia-induced obliteration of newly formed blood vessels in the retina of the premature newborn. We propose that vessel regression is a consequence of hyperoxia-induced withdrawal of a critical vascular survival factor. We show that regression of retinal capillaries in neonatal rats exposed to high oxygen, is preceded by a shut-off of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production by nearby neuroglial cells. Vessel regression occurs via selective apoptosis of endothelial cells. Intraocular injection of VEGF at the onset of experimental hyperoxia prevents apoptotic death of endothelial cells and rescues the retinal vasculature. These findings provide evidence for a specific angiogenic factor acting as a vascular survival factor in vivo. The system also provides a paradigm for vascular remodelling as an adaptive response to an increase in oxygen tension and suggests a novel approach to prevention of ROP.

                Author and article information

                Nephron Physiol
                Nephron Physiology
                S. Karger AG
                November 2004
                29 October 2004
                : 98
                : 3
                : p73-p79
                aRenal Transplant Unit, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, bImmunobiology Group, MRC Centre for Inflammation Research, Medical School, University of Edinburgh, cDivision of Pathology, School of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, University of Edinburgh, dSchool of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Clinical and Surgical Sciences, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh, eGlaxoSmithKline, Translational Medicine and Technology, Greenford, Middlesex, UK
                80686 Nephron Physiol 2004;98:p73–p79
                © 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                References: 69, Pages: 1
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