Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 44, Issue 6, pp 1196–1201

Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) in Crohn's Disease Increased Production by Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells and Decreased VEGF165 Labeling of Peripheral CD14+ Monocytes


  • Thomas Griga
  • Sibylle Werner
  • Manfred Koller
  • Andreas Tromm
  • Burkard May

DOI: 10.1023/A:1026640610621

Cite this article as:
Griga, T., Werner, S., Koller, M. et al. Dig Dis Sci (1999) 44: 1196. doi:10.1023/A:1026640610621


Recently, increased serum levels of vascularendothelial growth factor (VEGF) have been shown inpatients with inflammatory bowel disease. The origins ofthe circulating VEGF are still not described. Monocytes play an important role in the inflammatoryprocess. VEGF binding to monocytes mediates monocyterecruitment and activation. The present studyinvestigates the VEGF production of peripheral bloodmononuclear cells and the ability of peripheral monocytesto bind VEGF165 in patients with Crohn'sdisease. Nineteen patients with Crohn's disease and 10healthy volunteers were studied. VEGF165labeling of CD14+ monocytes was measured using two-color flow cytometry.Density of VEGF labeling was expressed as the meanfluorescence intensity (MFI). Furthermore, VEGF levelswere determined in culture supernatants of unstimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. VEGF inculture supernatants was measured using a solid-phaseenzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. There was asignificantly decreased VEGF165 labeling ofmonocytes of patients with active Crohn's disease (MFI:369.9 ± 121.6, N = 7, P < 0.002) compared topatients with inactive disease (MFI: 457.7 ±74.5, N = 6) and healthy controls (MFI: 542.9 ±96.2, N = 10). Unstimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cellsof patients with active Crohn's disease producedsignificantly higher amounts of VEGF (1142.6 ±483.9 pg/ml, N = 12, P < 0.001) compared withperipheral blood mononuclear cells of healthy volunteers(113.4 ± 101.8 pg/ml, N = 10). VEGF production byperipheral blood mononuclear cells of patients withactive disease was significantly increased compared to patients with quiescent disease (261.6± 254.8 pg/ml, N = 7, P < 0.001). Inconclusion, our data describe peripheral bloodmononuclear cells as one of the origins of the elevatedVEGF serum levels in patients with active Crohn's disease.Furthermore, a decrease in VEGF165 bindingsites on peripheral monocytes of patients with activeCrohn's disease has been shown. The study underlines theimportant role of VEGF in Crohn's disease.


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© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999