Respiratory syncytial virus stimulation of vascular endothelial cell growth factor/vascular permeability factor

C. G. Lee, H. J. Yoon, Z. Zhu, H. Link, Z. Wang, Jr Gwaltney, M. Landry, J. A. Elias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We hypothesized that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)-induced pathologies could be mediated, in part, by vascular active cytokines elaborated during virus infection. To address this hypothesis, we determined whether RSV stimulated vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF)/vascular permeability factor (VPF) elaboration in vitro. Supernatants from un-stimulated A549 cells and normal human bronchial epithelial cells contained modest levels of VEGF. In contrast, supernatants from RSV-infected cells contained elevated levels of VEGF/VPF. This stimulation was seen after as little as 2 h, was still prominent after 48 h, and, by immunoblot, was specific for the 165- and 121-amino acid isoforms of VEGF/VPF. It was not associated with significant cell cytotoxicity or alterations in VEGF messenger RNA. It did, however, require new protein biosynthesis. In accordance with these findings, the 165- and 121-amino acid isoforms of VFGF/VPF were also found in the nasal washings from patients with RSV infections. These studies demonstrate that RSV is a potent stimulator of VEGF/VPF elaboration and that, in vitro, this stimulation is mediated via a noncytotoxic translational and/or post-translational biosynthetic mechanism. VEGF/VPF may play an important role in the pathogenesis of RSV-induced disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)662-669
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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