Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in Acute Lung Injury
Increased permeability and interstitial and pulmonary edema are prominent features of acute lung injury (ALI)/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) . Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors have been implicated in the regulation of vascular permeability in many organ systems, including the lung. Data extrapolated from other organs and animal experiments have suggested that over-expression of VEGF would, therefore, be harmful within the lung. Recent data, from animal models as well as from patients with ALI, have shown decreased levels of VEGF in the lung. It is clear that the regulation of pulmonary vascular permeability and the roles of VEGF expression in the lung are complex. In this chapter, we explore the literature looking at the expression and function of VEGF in animal models of ALI and in patients with ALI. Novel evidence points to a potential role of VEGF in promoting repair of the alveolar-capillary membrane during recovery from ALI. Pro-VEGF therapy may therefore have potential as a rescue therapy for alveolar epithelial damage in ALI.
KeywordsVascular Endothelial Growth Factor Acute Lung Injury Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Expression
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