Endothelial growth factors have become the target of intense research since the initial discovery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF/VPF). At present, VEGF is established as a major inducer of angiogenesis in normal and pathological conditions. Recently several new members in the VEGF family have been described; VEGF-B/VRF, VEGF-C and VEGF-D. VEGF-D is most closely related to VEGF-C by virtue of the presence of N- and C-terminal extensions that are not found in other VEGF family members. We have here examined the expression pattern of vegf-d mRNA with in situ hybridization in developing and adult mice. This shows a restricted expression pattern, with high levels mainly in lung tissue. The expression in embryonic lung is upregulated prior to birth. Expression of vegf-d in other tissues, as well as in lung tissue of the E14 embryo, was either low or absent. This suggests that VEGF-D may be of special relevance for the vascularization of lung tissue during the last trimester of fetal development.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.