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      Non-Paralleled Increase of Hepatocyte Growth Factor and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in the Eyes with Angiogenic and Nonangiogenic Fibroproliferation

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          Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been known as principal angiogenic factor in vasculogenesis, tumor angiogenesis and ocular angiogenesis. Currently, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) has been reported to play a major role in ocular angiogenesis. We studied distribution of both growth factors in angiogenic and non-angiogenic fibroproliferation to determine the correlation of VEGF and HGF in retinal angiogenesis. Concentrations of VEGF and HGF molecules in vitreous samples from 27 eyes with angiogenic proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) and 9 eyes with non-angiogenic proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Vitreous samples with idiopathic macular role (IMH) served as a control. Concentrations of VEGF in the angiogenic PDR were 4.3 ± 5.8 ng/ml (mean ± SD), and were significantly higher than in non-angiogenic PVR (0.5 ± 0.1 ng/ml). No significant differences were observed on VEGF concentrations between PVR to control. On the contrary, HGF concentrations were significantly higher in PVR (22.5 ± 21.8 ng/ml) than in control (6.9 ± 5.2 ng/ml), those of PDR (24.0 ± 16.3 ng/ml) were also significantly higher than control. Among PDR samples, VEGF concentration was significantly higher than in the subgroup with higher angiogenic activity represented by iris neovascularization, although there were no significant differences on HGF concentration between the subgroups. Focal increases in HGF on fibroproliferation in the eye regardless of the involvement of angiogenesis were not in remarkable relation with angiogenic activity, unlike VEGF. These data suggested a more extensive role of HGF than VEGF strictly related to angiogenesis.

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          Hepatocyte growth factor is a potent angiogenic factor which stimulates endothelial cell motility and growth

          Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF, also known as Scatter Factor) is a powerful mitogen or motility factor in different cells, acting through the tyrosine kinase receptor encoded by the MET protooncogene. Endothelial cells express the MET gene and expose at the cell surface the mature protein (p190MET) made of a 50 kD (alpha) subunit disulfide linked to a 145-kD (beta) subunit. HGF binding to endothelial cells identifies two sites with different affinities. The higher affinity binding site (Kd = 0.35 nM) corresponds to the p190MET receptor. Sub- nanomolar concentrations of HGF, but not of a recombinant inactive precursor, stimulate the receptor kinase activity, cell proliferation and motility. HGF induces repairs of a wound in endothelial cell monolayer. HGF stimulates the scatter of endothelial cells grown on three-dimensional collagen gels, inducing an elongated phenotype. In the rabbit cornea, highly purified HGF promotes neovascularization at sub-nanomolar concentrations. HGF lacks activities related to hemostasis-thrombosis, inflammation and endothelial cells accessory functions. These data show that HGF is an in vivo potent angiogenic factor and in vitro induces endothelial cells to proliferate and migrate.

            Author and article information

            Ophthalmic Res
            Ophthalmic Research
            S. Karger AG
            February 2002
            07 February 2002
            : 34
            : 1
            : 43-47
            The Department of Ophthalmology, Fukuoka University, School of Medicine, Fukuoka, Japan
            48324 Ophthalmic Res 2002;34:43–47
            © 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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            Figures: 5, Tables: 1, References: 36, Pages: 5
            Original Paper


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