Role of VEGF, neurotrophic and proangiogenic factor in pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease

Zakład Farmakologii Katedry Farmakologii Śląskiego Uniwersytetu Medycznego

AKTUALN NEUROL 2011, 11 (2), p. 123-130

Currently, neurodegenerative disorders represent one of the most serious diseases the mankind is struggling with. An increased morbidity rate of Alzheimer’s disease seems to be associated with general population aging. Despite the fact that the intensive studies have been conducted in many research centres for several years, etiopathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease is still not fully understood. Furthermore, there is no drug which could, at least, inhibit progress of this disease effectively. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is well-characterized proangiogenic substance, essential for the formation of new blood vessels during embryogenesis as well as others pathological condition. Recently, a new role for VEGF as a neurotrophic factor has been emerged. In the developing nervous system, VEGF plays a pivotal role in neuronal proliferation and guidance of neuronal development process. As proangiogenic and neurotrophic factor, VEGF has been suggested to be involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. In patients suffering from this disease patients abnormal regulation of VEGF expression have been reported. Moreover, an interaction between VEGF and b-amyloid has been evidenced in in vitro studies on cell cultures and in vivo studies conducted on transgenic lab animals. In consequence, these data have stimulated an increasing interest in assessing the therapeutic potential of VEGF pharmacological modulation in treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, b-amyloid, treatment of AD, transgenic models, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)