Delineation of VEGF-regulated genes and functions in the cervix of pregnant rodents by DNA microarray analysis

Reprod Biol Endocrinol. 2008 Dec 16:6:64. doi: 10.1186/1477-7827-6-64.


Background: VEGF-regulated genes in the cervices of pregnant and non-pregnant rodents (rats and mice) were delineated by DNA microarray and Real Time PCR, after locally altering levels of or action of VEGF using VEGF agents, namely siRNA, VEGF receptor antagonist and mouse VEGF recombinant protein.

Methods: Tissues were analyzed by genome-wide DNA microarray analysis, Real-time and gel-based PCR, and SEM, to decipher VEGF function during cervical remodeling. Data were analyzed by EASE score (microarray) and ANOVA (Real Time PCR) followed by Scheffe's F-test for multiple comparisons.

Results: Of the 30,000 genes analyzed, about 4,200 genes were altered in expression by VEGF, i.e., expression of about 2,400 and 1,700 genes were down- and up-regulated, respectively. Based on EASE score, i.e., grouping of genes according to their biological process, cell component and molecular functions, a number of vascular- and non-vascular-related processes were found to be regulated by VEGF in the cervix, including immune response (including inflammatory), cell proliferation, protein kinase activity, and cell adhesion molecule activity. Of interest, mRNA levels of a select group of genes, known to or with potential to influence cervical remodeling were altered. For example, real time PCR analysis showed that levels of VCAM-1, a key molecule in leukocyte recruitment, endothelial adhesion, and subsequent trans-endothelial migration, were elevated about 10 folds by VEGF. Further, VEGF agents also altered mRNA levels of decorin, which is involved in cervical collagen fibrillogenesis, and expression of eNO, PLC and PKC mRNA, critical downstream mediators of VEGF. Of note, we show that VEGF may regulate cervical epithelial proliferation, as revealed by SEM.

Conclusion: These data are important in that they shed new insights in VEGF's possible roles and mechanisms in cervical events near-term, including cervical remodeling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cervix Uteri / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Ovariectomy
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Animal / physiology*
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Recombinant Proteins / pharmacology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / genetics*
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / pharmacology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / physiology


  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor