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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.

      Nature medicine

      administration & dosage, Animals, Animals, Newborn, Apoptosis, Cell Line, Down-Regulation, Endothelial Growth Factors, biosynthesis, pharmacology, Female, Humans, Hyperoxia, metabolism, Infant, Newborn, Lymphokines, Rats, Retina, drug effects, pathology, Retinal Vessels, Retinopathy of Prematurity, prevention & control, Tumor Cells, Cultured, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors

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          Abstract

          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.

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          Most cited references 3

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          Identification of programmed cell death in situ via specific labeling of nuclear DNA fragmentation

          Programmed cell death (PCD) plays a key role in developmental biology and in maintenance of the steady state in continuously renewing tissues. Currently, its existence is inferred mainly from gel electrophoresis of a pooled DNA extract as PCD was shown to be associated with DNA fragmentation. Based on this observation, we describe here the development of a method for the in situ visualization of PCD at the single-cell level, while preserving tissue architecture. Conventional histological sections, pretreated with protease, were nick end labeled with biotinylated poly dU, introduced by terminal deoxy- transferase, and then stained using avidin-conjugated peroxidase. The reaction is specific, only nuclei located at positions where PCD is expected are stained. The initial screening includes: small and large intestine, epidermis, lymphoid tissues, ovary, and other organs. A detailed analysis revealed that the process is initiated at the nuclear periphery, it is relatively short (1-3 h from initiation to cell elimination) and that PCD appears in tissues in clusters. The extent of tissue-PCD revealed by this method is considerably greater than apoptosis detected by nuclear morphology, and thus opens the way for a variety of studies.
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            Vascular endothelial growth factor is a potential tumour angiogenesis factor in human gliomas in vivo.

             G Breier,  H Weich,  W Risau (1992)
            Clinical and experimental studies suggest that angiogenesis is a prerequisite for solid tumour growth. Several growth factors with mitogenic or chemotactic activity for endothelial cells in vitro have been described, but it is not known whether these mediate tumour vascularization in vivo. Glioblastoma, the most common and most malignant brain tumour in humans, is distinguished from astrocytoma by the presence of necroses and vascular proliferations. Here we show that expression of an endothelial cell-specific mitogen, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), is induced in astrocytoma cells but is dramatically upregulated in two apparently different subsets of glioblastoma cells. The high-affinity tyrosine kinase receptor for VEGF, flt, although not expressed in normal brain endothelium, is upregulated in tumour endothelial cells in vivo. These observations strongly support the concept that tumour angiogenesis is regulated by paracrine mechanisms and identify VEGF as a potential tumour angiogenesis factor in vivo.
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              Increased vascular endothelial growth factor levels in the vitreous of eyes with proliferative diabetic retinopathy.

              The vitreous levels of the angiogenic polypeptide vascular endothelial growth factor (also known as vascular permeability factor) were measured and compared in eyes with and without proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Undiluted vitreous samples from 20 eyes were collected at the time of vitrectomy, and vascular endothelial growth factor levels were determined by using a time-resolved immunofluorometric assay. Vitreous vascular endothelial growth factor levels were significantly higher in eyes with proliferative diabetic retinopathy than in eyes without proliferative diabetic retinopathy (P = .006; Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test). The median vitreous concentration in the eyes with proliferative diabetic retinopathy was 29.1 pM and exceeded the known concentration required for the maximal proliferation of vascular endothelial cells in vitro. These data are consistent with vascular endothelial growth factor serving as a physiologically relevant angiogenic factor in proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
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                7489357

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