Current Allergy and Asthma Reports

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor as a Key Inducer of Angiogenesis in the Asthmatic Airways



Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by structural airway changes, which are known as airway remodeling, including smooth muscle hypertrophy, goblet cell hyperplasia, subepithelial fibrosis, and angiogenesis. Vascular remodeling in asthmatic lungs results from increased angiogenesis, which is mainly mediated by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF is a key regulator of blood vessel growth in the airways of asthma patients by promoting proliferation and differentiation of endothelial cells and inducing vascular leakage and permeability. In addition, VEGF induces allergic inflammation, enhances allergic sensitization, and has a role in Th2 type inflammatory responses. Specific inhibitors of VEGF and blockers of its receptors might be useful to control chronic airway inflammation and vascular remodeling, and might be a new therapeutic approach for chronic inflammatory airway disease like asthma.


Angiogenesis Asthma Vascular endothelial growth factor VEGF Interleukin-32 IL-32 Inflammatory pathways Airways Polymorphisms Novel therapies 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF)University of Zurich, Christine Kühne Center for Allergy Research and Education (CK-CARE)DavosSwitzerland
  2. 2.Spitalnetz Bern, Ziegler Hospital Department of Internal MedicineBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Spital ZieglerBernSwitzerland

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