Reduced vascular endothelial growth factor expression in contusive spinal cord injury

Publication Date



Journal of Neurotrauma


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is being investigated as a potential interventional therapy for spinal cord injury (SCI). In the current study, we examined SCI-induced changes in VEGF protein levels using Western blot analysis around the epicenter of injury. Our results indicate a significant decrease in the levels of VEGF(165) and other VEGF isoforms at the lesion epicenter 1 day after injury, which was maintained up to 1 month after injury. We also examined if robust VEGF(165) decrease in injured spinal cords affects neuronal survival, given that a number of reported studies show neuroprotective effect of this VEGF isoform. However, exogenously administered VEGF(165) at the time of injury did not affect the number of sparred neurons. In contrast, exogenous administration of VEGF antibody that inhibits actions of not only VEGF(165) but also of several other VEGF isoforms, significantly decreased number of sparred neurons after SCI. Together these results indicate a general reduction of VEGF isoforms following SCI and that isoforms other than VEGF(165) (e.g., VEGF(121) and/or VEGF(189)) provide neuroprotection, suggesting that VEGF(165) isoform is likely involved in other pathophysiological process after SCI.


Analysis of Variance, Animals, Blotting, Western, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Neurons, Neuroprotective Agents, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Recombinant Proteins, Spinal Cord, Spinal Cord Injuries, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A