The aim of the study was to determine the role of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) on the microvasculature and on angiogenetic gene expression after partial hepatectomy (PH) in the rat model.
To determine the effect of exogenous and endogenous VEGF after PH, rats were subjected to 70% PH and treated either with VEGF, anti-VEGF or NaCl. Postoperatively (3-168 h), vessel density (VD), vessel diameter (VDi), and intersinusoidal space, liver body weight ratio (LBR), hepatic proliferation and biochemical markers were assessed. To further elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms hepatic gene expression was determined by customized cDNA arrays and quantitative RT-PCR.
In the VEGF group, VD, VDi, and LBR were significantly increased compared with anti-VEGF or controls. Blockage of endogenous VEGF led to a marked increase of biochemical markers. Anti-VEGF almost completely suppressed and VEGF markedly enhanced hepatic proliferation in the first 24 h after surgery. This was associated with a modulation of cell cycle control genes (PC4, Gadd45a, Tis21/BTG2), v-jun, and CD14 by VEGF.
VEGF plays an important role in liver regeneration and this may be due in part through its effects on neovascularization. Whether it may, when given therapeutically, represent a strategy to optimize liver regeneration in problematic patients needs to be clarified.
2007. Vol. 138, no 2, 291-299 p.
liver regeneration, angiogenesis, intravital microscopy, gene expression, VEGF, anti-VEGF