Endotoxin boosts the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in rabbits

J Endotoxin Res. 2003;9(2):97-100. doi: 10.1179/096805103125001478.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a cytokine that greatly increases vascular permeability and thereby promotes hypovolemia. The present study examines whether the plasma VEGF concentration is increased by a bolus injection of endotoxin 20 microg/kg in 30 rabbits, and whether the response is modified by vitamin A, which doubles the endotoxin clearance. The results show that endotoxin stimulates a gradual increase in the VEGF concentration to a peak 5 h later which is approximately 100 times higher than the baseline concentration. No statistically significant difference was found between the rabbits that received no further treatment (n = 10) and the ones that were given 1000 IE/kg of vitamin A intravenously 1 h before (n = 10) or after (n = 10) the endotoxin. The rise in VEGF correlated with the development of fever, and the VEGF concentrations were higher in animals with a severely affected physical status as judged by the breathing pattern and changes in posture or reactivity. In conclusion, release of VEGF is part of the cytokine response to endotoxin with a peak occurring 5 h after a bolus injection, and the rise is pronounced also in the presence of a high endotoxin clearance.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Temperature / drug effects
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Escherichia coli / immunology
  • Female
  • Fever / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Lipopolysaccharides / administration & dosage
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Rabbits
  • Respiration / drug effects
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / blood*
  • Vitamin A / pharmacology


  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • lipopolysaccharide A
  • Vitamin A