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Sophie Brouillet

EG-VEGF, a new actor of placental development: Physiological and pathological implications

Published on 26 September 2011


Thesis presented September 26, 2011

Abstract:
Growth of the placental villi is a key event in placental development during human pregnancy. Many growth factors have been shown to control this process; however their ubiquitous expression makes them less specific to this tissue. Recently, a new growth factor named EG-VEGF (Endocrine Gland-derived Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor), specific to endocrine glands including the placenta, has been identified. It mediates its biological activity via two G protein coupled receptors, Prokineticin Receptor 1 and 2 (PROKR1 and PROKR2). In recent work from our laboratory, we have shown that I) EG-VEGF is abundantly expressed in human placenta II)​ EG-VEGF levels are highest during the first trimester and III) EG-VEGF circulating levels are increased in preeclampsia (PE). Altogether, our results suggested that EG-VEGF might be an important regulatory factor in the placenta. My aim was to investigate (1) EG-VEGF angiogenic effects on microvascular cells within the placenta (HPEC), (2) its hormonal regulation with hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin), and (3) its expression in IUGR (Intrauterine Growth Restriction) pregnancies in the third trimester. Our results show that 1) EG-VEGF increases angiogenic processes in HPEC cells via PROKR1, and also their permeability via PROKR2 2) hCG increases EG-VEGF secretion and PROKR expression in the first trimester placenta and 3) EG-VEGF increases both trophoblast proliferation and survival, and its expression is dysregulated in IUGR in the third trimester of pregnancy. Altogether, our results show that EG-VEGF is a new placental growth factor. Its dysregulation in PE and IUGR suggests that it can be considered as a potential diagnostic marker and a potential therapeutic target in future.

Keywords:
Pregnancy, placenta, EG-VEGF, PROK1, angiogenesis, IUGR, hCG, pathology

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