Growth Factor Regulators of Placental Angiogenesis

  • Caroline Dunk
  • Asif Ahmed


The human placenta is a highly vascularised organ that mediates gas and nutrient exchange between the maternal and fetal circulations. In this chapter we discuss the processes of vasculogenesis, angiogenesis and the factors influencing them in the formation of the placental vasculature. Also described are the effects of growth factors on the specialised structures of the mature intermediate and terminal villi, which are the main site of gas exchange. We have identified VEGF to be a key agent in early placental angiogenesis, acting in concert with a related factor, placenta growth factor (PlGF) via two high affinity receptors VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 to stimulate endothelial cell proliferation and vessel formation. A second class of receptor tyrosine kinases includes the Tie-2 receptor. Its newly identified ligands angiopoietin-1 and a natural antagonist angiopoietin-2 are thought to play a role in vessel maturation, acting downstream to VEGF.


Hepatocyte Growth Factor Human Placenta Intrauterine Growth Restriction Placental Villus Growth Factor Regulator 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  • Caroline Dunk
  • Asif Ahmed

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