Vascular endothelial growth factor of the lung: friend or foe

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2008 Jun;8(3):255-60. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2008.03.003. Epub 2008 May 28.


The discovery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) changed the field of angiogenesis. We have learned that VEGF has broader actions than merely a driver of tumor angiogenesis, particularly that VEGF controlled several fundamental functions and properties of endothelial cells and nonendothelial cells. The lung is one of the main organs where VEGF controls several crucial physiological functions. These actions rely on tightly regulated temporal and concentration gradients of VEGF and VEGF receptor expression in the lung. Excessive or diminished VEGF have been linked to abnormal lung phenotypes and, in humans, linked to several diseases. The beneficial and detrimental actions of VEGF underscore that therapeutic targeting of VEGF in disease has to carefully consider the lung biology of VEGF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Emphysema / prevention & control
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / etiology
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / prevention & control
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Morphogenesis
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / etiology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / physiology*


  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A