Vascular endothelial growth factor expression in human chronic renal allograft rejection

Transplantation. 1999 Mar 27;67(6):929-33. doi: 10.1097/00007890-199903270-00024.


Background: Chronic renal allograft rejection is characterized by interstitial fibrosis and vasculopathy. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an endothelial mitogen with increased expression in inflammation and vasculopathy.

Methods: Renal tissue from 17 patients with chronic rejection was examined for VEGF protein and the presence of CD 68-positive macrophages, and compared to biopsies from patients with temporary allograft dysfunction, acute rejection, and native kidneys with thin membrane disease.

Results: In the chronic rejection group, there was markedly increased expression of VEGF protein in the interstitium (P<0.0001). In serial sections, VEGF colocalized with the expression of CD 68-positive macrophages. Significantly more macrophages were in the tubulointerstitium in tissue with chronic rejection than in those with temporary allograft dysfunction (P<0.005). Additionally, VEGF protein expression in the glomeruli and the vascular compartment of patients with chronic rejection was increased.

Conclusion: The up-regulation of VEGF in chronic renal allograft rejection may be important in inflammation and development of fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / analysis
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic / analysis
  • Chronic Disease
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / analysis*
  • Graft Rejection / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / chemistry
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology*
  • Lymphokines / analysis*
  • Macrophages / chemistry
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic
  • CD68 antigen, human
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors