Vascular insufficiency and retinal ischaemia precede many proliferative retinopathies and stimulate secretion of vasoactive growth factors. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays a major role and we therefore investigated the other members of the VEGF family: Placental growth factor (PlGF), VEGF-B, -C, and -D, and platelet derived growth factors (PDGF) A and B. Neonatal mice were exposed to hyperoxia for 5 days and then returned to room air (resulting in acute retinal ischaemia). RT-PCR demonstrated that all the members of the VEGF family are expressed in the retina and in situ hybridization (ISH) located their mRNAs primarily in ganglion cells. Similarly to VEGF itself, VEGF-C, PDGF-A, and PDGF-B were upregulated during retinal ischaemia (P < 0.05). Only PlGF gene expression increased during hyperoxia (P < 0.01). The expression pattern of these growth factors suggests a role in the normal retina and during vaso-obliterative and ischaemic phases.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.