FGF-2 and VEGF are potent angiogenesis inducers in vivo and in vitro. Here we show that FGF-2 induces VEGF expression in vascular endothelial cells through autocrine and paracrine mechanisms. Addition of recombinant FGF-2 to cultured endothelial cells or upregulation of endogenous FGF-2 results in increased VEGF expression. Neutralizing monoclonal antibody to VEGF inhibits FGF-2-induced endothelial cell proliferation. Endogenous 18-kD FGF-2 production upregulates VEGF expression through extracellular interaction with cell membrane receptors; high-Mr FGF-2 (22-24-kD) acts via intracellular mechanism(s). During angiogenesis induced by FGF-2 in the mouse cornea, the endothelial cells of forming capillaries express VEGF mRNA and protein. Systemic administration of neutralizing VEGF antibody dramatically reduces FGF-2-induced angiogenesis. Because occasional fibroblasts or other cell types present in the corneal stroma show no significant expression of VEGF mRNA, these findings demonstrate that endothelial cell-derived VEGF is an important autocrine mediator of FGF2-induced angiogenesis. Thus, angiogenesis in vivo can be modulated by a novel mechanism that involves the autocrine action of vascular endothelial cell-derived FGF-2 and VEGF.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology