VEGF-B was discovered a long time ago. However, unlike VEGF-A, whose function has been extensively studied, the function of VEGF-B and the mechanisms involved still remain poorly understood. Notwithstanding, drugs that inhibit VEGF-B and other VEGF family members have been used to treat patients with neovascular diseases. It is therefore critical to have a better understanding of VEGF-B function and the underlying mechanisms. Here, using comprehensive methods and models, we have identified VEGF-B as a potent antioxidant. Loss of Vegf-b by gene deletion leads to retinal degeneration in mice, and treatment with VEGF-B rescues retinal cells from death in a retinitis pigmentosa model. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that VEGF-B upregulates numerous key antioxidative genes, particularly, Gpx1. Loss of Gpx1 activity largely diminished the antioxidative effect of VEGF-B, demonstrating that Gpx1 is at least one of the critical downstream effectors of VEGF-B. In addition, we found that the antioxidant function of VEGF-B is mediated mainly by VEGFR1. Given that oxidative stress is a crucial factor in numerous human diseases, VEGF-B may have therapeutic value for the treatment of such diseases.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Oct 9 2018|
- Oxidative stress
- Retinal degeneration
ASJC Scopus subject areas