Mice lacking the vascular endothelial growth factor-B gene (Vegfb) have smaller hearts, dysfunctional coronary vasculature, and impaired recovery from cardiac ischemia.
Bellomo D., Headrick JP., Silins GU., Paterson CA., Thomas PS., Gartside M., Mould A., Cahill MM., Tonks ID., Grimmond SM., Townson S., Wells C., Little M., Cummings MC., Hayward NK., Kay GF.
Vascular endothelial growth factor-B (VEGF-B) is closely related to VEGF-A, an effector of blood vessel growth during development and disease and a strong candidate for angiogenic therapies. To further study the in vivo function of VEGF-B, we have generated Vegfb knockout mice (Vegfb(-/-)). Unlike Vegfa knockout mice, which die during embryogenesis, Vegfb(-/-) mice are healthy and fertile. Despite appearing overtly normal, Vegfb(-/-) hearts are reduced in size and display vascular dysfunction after coronary occlusion and impaired recovery from experimentally induced myocardial ischemia. These findings reveal a role for VEGF-B in the development or function of coronary vasculature and suggest potential clinical use in therapeutic angiogenesis.