Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN vol:13 issue:6 pages:1548-60
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is transcribed in the VEGF(120), VEGF(164), or VEGF(188) isoforms, which differ in receptor binding, matrix association, and angiogenic activity. This vascular growth factor has been implicated in the development of the renal vasculature, but the role of the distinct VEGF isoforms remains unknown. In the present report, renal angiogenesis and arteriogenesis were studied in VEGF(120/120) mice, expressing only the short VEGF(120) isoform. In VEGF(120/120) mice, ingrowth and survival of capillaries in glomeruli, remodeling of peritubular capillaries, vascular coverage by pericytes, and branching of renal arteries were all severely impaired, causing abnormal glomerular filtration and impairing renal function. The arterial branching defect might be related to a reduced expression of renin, a presumed renal arterial branching factor. Glomerulosclerosis and tubular dilation possibly resulted from renal ischemia caused by vascular defects. Thus, VEGF(164) and VEGF(188) not only mediate angiogenesis, but they also play an essential role in renal branching arteriogenesis.