High articular levels of the angiogenetic factors VEGF and VEGF-receptor 2 as tissue healing biomarkers after single bundle anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Emanuela Galliera, L. De Girolamo, P. Randelli, P. Volpi, G. Dogliotti, A. Quaglia, G. Banfi, P. Cabitza, M. M. Corsi, M. Denti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Various factors may account for the positive association between meniscal repair and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, one being the modulation of healing response of meniscal fibrochondrocytes by growth factors released with intra-articular bleeding and fibrin clot formation. Analysis of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors, VEGFR1 and VEGFR2, may be useful in the clinical assessment of bone and soft-tissue remodeling. We measured systemic and local levels of VEGF (VEGF165), VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 after either arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (APM) or single-bundle anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) in order to determine the local effect of bone tunnelling and notchplasty on the release of these growth factors. The study population included 40 patients: 20 consecutive patients had undergone ACLR with hamstring grafts and 20 had undergone APM. Thirty minutes after the end of the operation, knee joint fluid samples were collected via the drainage tube and at the same time venous blood samples were drawn. In both sets of samples, VEGF, VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 concentrations were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). No significant differences in VEGF, VEGFR1 or VEGFR2 concentrations in the venous blood were observed between the two treatment groups. In contrast, VEGF and VEGFR2 levels were significantly higher in the knee joint fluid of the ACLR group; furthermore, VEGF and VEGFR1 were significantly higher in the knee joint fluid than in the venous blood, whereas VEGFR2 was lower in the knee joint fluid than in the venous blood. Local release of VEGF and its angiogenetic receptor VEGFR2, but not the negative regulator VEGFRl, was significantly higher after ACLR than after APM, indicating a better vasculogenic potential for enhanced bone-graft and meniscus healing. These results could suggest that VEGF and VEGFRs could be considered as good biomarkers of tissue healing after knee joint surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents
Volume25
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Keywords

  • ACL reconstruction
  • Angiogenesis
  • Growth factors
  • Ligamentization process
  • Partial meniscectomy
  • Tissue healing
  • Vascular endothelial growth factors
  • VEGF
  • VEGF receptors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Endocrinology
  • Physiology
  • Cancer Research

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