Vascular endothelial growth factor and the regulation of angiogenesis

Recent Prog Horm Res. 2000;55:15-35; discussion 35-6.


The development of a vascular supply is essential not only for organ development and differentiation during embryogenesis but also for wound healing and reproductive functions in the adult Folkman, 1995). Angiogenesis is also implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of disorders: proliferative retinopathies, age-related macular degeneration, tumors, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriasis (Folkman, 1995; Garner, 1994). Several potential regulators of angiogenesis have been identified, including fibroblast growth factor-a (aFGF), bFGF, transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha), TGF-beta, hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor (HGF/SF), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), angiogenin, and interleukin-8 (IL-8) (Folkman and Shing, 1992; Risau, 1997). More recently, the angiopoietins, the ligands of the Tie-2 receptor (Suri et al., 1996; Maisonpierre et al., 1997), have been identified. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an endothelial-cell-specific mitogen. The finding that VEGF was potent and specific for vascular endothelial cells and, unlike bFGF, freely diffusible, led to the hypothesis that this molecule plays a unique role in the regulation of physiological and pathological angiogenesis (Ferrara and Henzel, 1989: Leung et al., 1989). Over the last few years, several additional members of the VEGF gene family have been identified, including placenta growth factor (PIGF) (Maglione et al., 1991,1993), VEGF-B (Olofsson et al., 1996), VEGF-C (Joukov et al., 1996; Lee et al., 1996), and VEGF-D (Orlandini et al., 1996. Achen et al., 1998). There is compelling evidence that VEGF plays an essential role in the development and differentiation of the cardiovascular system (Ferrara and Davis-Smyth, 1997).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / genetics
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Growth Substances / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lymphokines / genetics
  • Lymphokines / physiology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Oxygen / metabolism
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / physiology
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
  • Signal Transduction
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Growth Substances
  • Lymphokines
  • Receptors, Growth Factor
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
  • Oxygen