Respiratory syncytial virus stimulation of vascular endothelial cell growth Factor/Vascular permeability factor

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2000 Nov;23(5):662-9. doi: 10.1165/ajrcmb.23.5.4188.


We hypothesized that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-induced pathologies could be mediated, in part, by vascular active cytokines elaborated during virus infection. To address this hypothesis, we determined whether RSV stimulated vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF)/vascular permeability factor (VPF) elaboration in vitro. Supernatants from unstimulated A549 cells and normal human bronchial epithelial cells contained modest levels of VEGF. In contrast, supernatants from RSV-infected cells contained elevated levels of VEGF/VPF. This stimulation was seen after as little as 2 h, was still prominent after 48 h, and, by immunoblot, was specific for the 165- and 121-amino acid isoforms of VEGF/VPF. It was not associated with significant cell cytotoxicity or alterations in VEGF messenger RNA. It did, however, require new protein biosynthesis. In accordance with these findings, the 165- and 121-amino acid isoforms of VEGF/VPF were also found in the nasal washings from patients with RSV infections. These studies demonstrate that RSV is a potent stimulator of VEGF/VPF elaboration and that, in vitro, this stimulation is mediated via a noncytotoxic translational and/or post-translational biosynthetic mechanism. VEGF/VPF may play an important role in the pathogenesis of RSV-induced disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Epithelial Cells / virology*
  • Humans
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Lung / virology*
  • Lymphokines / biosynthesis*
  • Nasal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Nasal Mucosa / virology
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections / metabolism*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors