Comparative analysis of vascular endothelial growth factor receptors on retinal and aortic vascular endothelial cells

Diabetes. 1995 Jan;44(1):98-103. doi: 10.2337/diab.44.1.98.


Ischemic eye disease often results in ocular neovascularization, presumably due to the elaboration of growth factors. Diabetic retinopathy is a classic example in which dramatic retinal neovascularization arises after ischemic retinal damage. The characterization of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as an angiogenic molecule whose expression is markedly induced by hypoxia makes it a promising candidate for mediating ischemic retinal neovascularization. Thus, we have characterized the structure, binding, and regulation of VEGF receptors in bovine retinal (BREC) and aortic endothelial cells (BAEC). VEGF stimulated a 2.1-fold increase in BREC number and DNA content at 0.6 nmol/l VEGF (P < 1 x 10(-7)). Scatchard binding analysis demonstrated specific high-affinity VEGF receptors on BREC with a Kd of 4.9 +/- 0.6 x 10(-11) mmol/l, similar to that observed for BAEC at 5.1 +/- 0.4 x 10(-11) mmol/l. BREC, however, possess 1.5 x 10(5) high-affinity receptors/cell, threefold more than BAEC (P < 0.003) and more than any cell type reported previously. 125I-VEGF affinity cross-linking revealed complexes at 220 and 170 kDa in BREC, but only a 220-kDa band of lesser intensity in BAEC. Cross-linking was displaceable in a dose-dependent manner by VEGF (P < 0.01) but not by other hormones. Hypoxia increased VEGF receptor number 50% in BREC without altering affinity. Antiphosphotyrosine immunoblotting showed VEGF-stimulated tyrosine autophosphorylation of VEGF receptor bands at 225 and 220 kDa and another band at 80 kDa within 1 min.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aorta / cytology
  • Cattle
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / complications
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / pharmacology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / chemistry*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • ErbB Receptors / analysis*
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology
  • Lymphokines / metabolism
  • Lymphokines / pharmacology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / etiology
  • Phosphorylation
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / analysis
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / analysis
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
  • Retinal Vessels / cytology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


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