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Received May 10, 2007; Revision received June 21, 2007
Vascular endothelial growth factors VEGF-A and VEGF-C are the main angiogenic factors that control growth of new blood and lymphatic vessels in the organism, and they also possess several immunoregulatory activities. Expression of VEGF-A and VEGF-C mRNA as well as mRNA for VEGF receptors in lymphocytes and macrophages of naive mice was investigated. Using reverse transcription and subsequent polymerase chain reaction, we found that peritoneal macrophages, thymocytes, and lymph node cells constitutively expressed VEGF-A and VEGF-C mRNA. In addition, macrophages were positive for VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, VEGFR-3, NRP-1, and NRP-2 mRNA, whereas thymocytes and lymph node cells expressed mRNA of the same receptors except VEGFR-1. These data expand our knowledge concerning gene distribution of VEGF receptors in the organism, in particular, among the cells of the immune system. This suggests that, along with their major angiogenic properties, VEGF family members additionally might also perform important mediatory functions within the immune system.
KEY WORDS: VEGF-A, VEGF-C, receptors of VEGF, angiogenesis, NRP-1, NRP-2