Cellular localization of vascular endothelial growth factor in ovine placenta and fetal membranes

Lj V. Bogic, R. A. Brace, C. Y. Cheung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


To further understand the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in mediating angiogenesis and vascular permeability during development in the sheep placenta and fetal membranes, we examined the localization of VEGF mRNA and protein in placental, chorionic and amniotic tissues by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry in ovine fetuses at 62, 102 and 141 days gestation (term = 150 days). In the placenta, VEGF mRNA expression and VEGF protein immunostaining were strong in cytotrophoblasts surrounding the villi. In addition, VEGF protein was localized in smooth muscle cells around fetal and maternal blood vessels and in the maternal epithelium. There was no apparent difference in placental VEGF mRNA or protein levels associated with advancing gestation. In the fetal membranes, VEGF mRNA was detected in the amniotic epithelium and the chorionic cytotrophoblastic cell layer. The intensity of the hybridization signals in both amnion and chorion appeared low at 62 days, moderate at 102 days and high at 141 days gestation. VEGF protein was detected in amniotic epithelium and chorionic cytotrophoblasts at all gestational ages studied. The increase in VEGF gene expression in fetal membranes as term approaches suggests that during fetal development VEGF may promote the vascularity and permeability of the microvessels which perfuse the fetal membranes, as well as permeability of the amniotic membrane itself. Thus VEGF may participate in the regulation of amniotic fluid volume. (C) 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-209
Number of pages7
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - May 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Developmental Biology


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