Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in otitis media

Hak Hyun Jung, Myung Won Kim, Jae Hyuck Lee, Young Tae Kim, Nan Hee Kim, Baik Ahm Chang, Jong Ouck Choi, Hyun Ho Lim

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    34 Citations (Scopus)


    Increased vascular permeability and endothelial cell growth are important in the pathogenesis of otitis media with effusion (OME) and the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is known to play an important role in the increased vascular permeability and angiogenesis. To date, at least five isoforms of the VEGF family have been identified as VEGF transcripts, encoding polypeptides of 206, 189, 165, 145 and 121, but their physiological roles are unclear. The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression of VEGF, in both endotoxin-induced OME of the rat and human otitis media. We instilled endotoxin and saline as a control into the middle ear cavity of the rat. Middle ear mucosa were taken at 0 h, 1 h, 3 h, 6 h, 12 h, 1 day, 3 days, 7 days and 14 days and the expression of VEGF mRNA and VEGF protein was evaluated using semi-quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry. Expression of VEGF164 mRNA and VEGF120 mRNA was first identified 1 h after endotoxin instillation and was dramatically increased over the period 6 h-1 day and then progressively decreased by day 7. The level of expression of VEGF120 mRNA was slightly higher than that of VEGF164 mRNA and that of VEGF164 mRNA was much higher than that of VEGF188 mRNA. Immunostaining revealed expression of VEGF during 6 h to day 3 and its expression was localized to ciliated cells and some inflammatory cells. We also performed RT-PCRs of cDNA from middle ear fluids of 8 human OME patients and middle ear mucosa of 4 chronic otitis media patients for the identification of VEGF mRNA expression. VEGF121 mRNA was highly expressed in all samples compared with VEGF165 mRNA. These results suggest that VEGF may be primarily responsible for increased vascular permeability and endothelial cell growth in OME and that VEGF seems to play a significant role in the pathogenesis of OME.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)801-808
    Number of pages8
    JournalActa Oto-Laryngologica
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 1999

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    We thank June Hee Kim for technical assistance, and Dr Seung H. Han for help. This study was supported by Research Foundation of Korea University Otolaryngology Alumni Association.


    • Gene expression
    • Otitis media with effusion (OME)
    • Polymerase chain reaction
    • Rat
    • Vascular permeability

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Otorhinolaryngology


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