Increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and hypoxia inducible factor-1α in lung tissue of patients with chronic bronchitis

Seung Hyeun Lee, Sang Hoon Lee, Chul Hwan Kim, Kyung Suk Yang, Eun Joo Lee, Kyung Hoon Min, Gyu Young Hur, Seung Heon Lee, Sung Yong Lee, Je Hyeong Kim, Chol Shin, Jae Jeong Shim, Kwang Ho In, Kyung Ho Kang, Sang Yeub Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) seems to be involved in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but its site-specific expression in lung tissue and the relationship with hypoxia inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) expression in chronic bronchitis (CB) type COPD have not been studied. Design and methods: We evaluated the expression of VEGF and its receptors in various compartments of lung tissue in three groups: non-smokers with normal lung function (non-smokers, n= 10), smokers without COPD (healthy smokers, n= 10) and smokers with CB (CB, n= 10), using immunohistochemical staining and Western blotting. The expression of HIF-1α was assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results: Compared with healthy smokers, VEGF expression in CB was significantly increased in bronchiolar epithelium, vascular endothelium and vascular smooth muscle (p<. 0.05). VEGF receptor (VEGFR)-2 expression in CB was also increased in bronchiolar smooth muscle, vascular endothelium and vascular smooth muscle compared with healthy smokers (p<. 0.05). The level of HIF-1α was increased in CB compared with healthy smokers and positively correlated with those of VEGF (r= 0.64, p<. 0.05). Conclusion: VEGF and VEGFR-2 expressions were up-regulated in CB and increased expression of VEGF was related with HIF-1α. HIF-1α-regulated VEGF overexpression may be a characteristic of chronic bronchitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-559
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Biochemistry
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 2014 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grant from the National Research Resource Bank Program of the Korea Science & Engineering Foundation in the Ministry of Science & Technology (No. R21-2007-000-10058-0 ) and by the Korea University Grant (Nos. K1032051 and R1205861 ).


  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Smoking
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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