Vasculotropin/vascular endothelial growth factor is an autocrine growth factor for human retinal pigment epithelial cells cultured in vitro

J Cell Physiol. 1995 Aug;164(2):385-94. doi: 10.1002/jcp.1041640219.


Vasculotropin (VAS), also called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) or vascular permeability factor, is a secreted growth factor whose target cell specificity has been reported as restricted to vascular endothelium. Its effects are mediated by at least two distinct membrane-spanning tyrosine kinase receptors, KDR and flt-1; the expression of which also seems restricted to vascular endothelium. We describe here that cultured human retinal pigment epithelial (HRPE) cells express both KDR and flt-1 receptors, bind VAS/VEGF on two high affinity sites (apparent Kd of 9 and 210 pM corresponding to 940 and 18,800 sites per cell) and proliferate or migrate upon recombinant VAS/VEGF addition. HRPE cells also express the mRNA corresponding to the 121 and 165 amino acid forms of VAS/VEGF. HRPE cells release in their own culture medium and store in their extracellular matrix self-mitogenic and chemoattractant factors indistinguishable from 121 and 165 VAS/VEGF isoforms. The autocrine role of VAS/VEGF was confirmed by the inhibition of these bioactivities by neutralizing specific anti-VAS/VEGF antibodies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Growth Substances / pharmacology
  • Growth Substances / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligonucleotide Probes / genetics
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / cytology
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / drug effects
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / physiology*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Growth Substances
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors