Role of vascular endothelial growth factor-A in development of abdominal aortic aneurysm

Hidehiro Kaneko, Toshihisa Anzai, Toshiyuki Takahashi, Takashi Kohno, Masayuki Shimoda, Aya Sasaki, Hideyuki Shimizu, Toshiyuki Nagai, Yuichiro Maekawa, Koichi Yoshimura, Hiroki Aoki, Tsutomu Yoshikawa, Yasunori Okada, Ryohei Yozu, Satoshi Ogawa, Keiichi Fukuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


AimsIncreased angiogenesis, chronic inflammation, and extracellular matrix degradation are the major pathological features of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). We sought to elucidate the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, a potent angiogenic and proinflammatory factor, in the development of AAA.Methods and resultsHuman AAA samples showed increased VEGF-A expression, neovascularization, and macrophage infiltration compared with normal aortic walls. AAA was induced in mice by periaortic application of CaCl2. AAA mice were treated with soluble VEGF-A receptor (sFlt)-1 or phosphate-buffered saline and sacrificed 6 weeks after the operation. Treatment with sFlt-1 resulted in reduced aneurysm size, restored wavy structure of the elastic lamellae, reduced Mac-2+ monocytes/macrophages, CD3+ T-lymphocytes, and CD31+ vessels, and attenuated matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and 9 activity in periaortic tissue of AAA. Increased aortic mRNA expression of monocyte chemotactic protein-1, tumour necrosis factor-α, and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 in AAA was attenuated by sFlt-1 treatment.ConclusionVEGF-A was overexpressed in the aortic wall of human and experimental AAA. Treatment with sFlt-1 inhibited AAA development in mice, in association with reduced neoangiogenesis, infiltration of inflammatory cells, MMP activity, and extracellular matrix degradation. These findings suggest a crucial role of VEGF-A in the development of AAA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-367
Number of pages10
JournalCardiovascular Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jul 15


  • Angio-/arteriogenesis
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Growth factors
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophages

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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