Contribution of Macrophages to Angiogenesis Induced by Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-3-Specific Ligands

E.S. Chung, S.K. Chauhan, Y. Jin, S. Nakao, A. Hafezi-Moghadam, N. van Rooijen, Q. Zhang, R. Dana

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Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-2 is a major stimulator of hemangiogenesis (HA), whereas VEGFR-3 stimulates lymphangiogenesis (LA). Contrary to this understanding, we demonstrate that implantation of pellets containing VEGFR-3-specific ligands (VEGF-C156S and recombinant murine VEGF-D) into the corneal stroma induce not only LA but also robust HA characterized by blood vessels that are positive for VEGFR-3 expression. The implantation of pellets containing VEGFR-3-specific ligands also leads to the recruitment of VEGF-A-secreting macrophages. Depletion of these infiltrating macrophages using clodronate-liposome administration shows a significant reduction in HA as well as LA. Blockade of either VEGFR-2 or VEGFR-3 signaling reduces both HA and LA; however, the percent reduction of HA is greater in the VEGFR-2 blockade group. In addition, in the VEGFR-3 blockade group, the percent reduction of RA is significantly greater with VEGFR-3-specific ligands than that by VEGF-A or VEGF-C. Collectively, our data suggest that VEGFR-3-specific signaling can induce new blood vessels, to which macrophages contribute a major role, and signify its potential as an additional therapeutic target to the existing VEGF-A/VEGFR-2 signaling-based antiangiogenesis strategies. (Am J Pathol 2009, 175:1984-1992; DOI: 10.2353/ajpath.2009.080515)
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1984-1992
JournalThe American Journal of Pathology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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