Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) increases microvascular permeability and has been implicated in the development of numerous pathologies including diabetic retinopathy (DR), hypoxia/ischemia, and tumor biology. The transport pathways by which water and solutes cross the endothelium in response to VEGF, however, are not completely understood. We measured, in real time, bovine retinal endothelial cell (BREC) hydraulic conductivity (Lp), 70 kDa dextran permeability (Pe), and the solvent-drag reflection coefficient (σ) before and after addition of 50 ng/ml VEGF. The diffusional permeability coefficient for dextran (Pd) was measured before pressure gradient application. The sudden application of a 10-cm H2O hydrostatic pressure gradient induced water and solute fluxes that decayed to steady-state values after approximately 2 h. Subsequently, the addition of VEGF significantly increased Lp and Pe by 4.3-fold ± 0.7-fold and 3.0-fold ± 0.3-fold, respectively, after 110 min; however, the reflection coefficient remained approximately constant throughout the experiment (approximately 0.8). These observations suggest that water and dextran utilize common paracellular channels across BREC monolayers. Furthermore, the addition of VEGF increases the number or availability of channels but does not alter the selectivity of the monolayer to 70 kDa dextran.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Cell Biology