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What is the VEGF molecule?

By Dr. Shantan Reddy

The VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) is a molecule believed to be implicated in the development of Wet age related macular degeneration and choroidal neovascularization.  The VEGF family consists of six growth factors (VEGF-A, -B, -C, -D, -E, and placental growth factor or PIGF) that bind three distinct tyrosine kinase receptors (VEGF-R1, VEGF-R2, and VEGF-R3). VEGF-R2 seems to be the functional receptor that mediates endothelial cell migration and vascular permeability. Different factors appeared to be regulators for VEGF-induced angiogenesis, but hypoxia seems to be the most important one. When activated, angiogenesis and vascular permeability induced by VEGF are mediated by different pathways.

Multiple studies have suggested that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) increases vascular permeability and is involved in the pathogenesis of neovascularization in human eye disease. Current approaches to inhibit VEGF involve binding it to a molecule that prevents receptor 0-ligand interaction, thus incapacitating the effect of VEGF on the local environment. Options currently include either a full-length recombinant monoclonal antibody (bevacizumab) or a highly affinitized fragment of the antibody (ranibizumab), or a pegylated aptamer (pegabtanib sodium).

Topics and Subtopics: Eye Care

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