Recombinant vascular endothelial growth factor 121 injection for the prevention of fetal growth restriction in a preeclampsia mouse model

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To discover the potential role of recombinant VEGF121 (rVEGF121) injection for the prevention of fetal growth restriction in a preeclampsia (PE) mouse model (Mus musculus).

Subjects and methods:

This is an experimental study of 30 pregnant mice that were randomly divided into three groups: normal, PE, and PE with rVEGF121 injection. The PE mouse model was created by injecting anti Qa-2 10 ng iv, which is deleterious to Qa-2 expression (homologous to HLA-G), from the first to the fourth day of gestation. PE was validated by measuring serum levels of soluble fms-like tyrosine kinase-1 (sFlt-1) and placental growth factor(PIGF) and also by kidney histopathology. Recombinant VEGF121 was given on the ninth day until the 11th day of pregnancy; mice were terminated on the 16th day. Fetal weights were acquired with a Denver analytical balance. Serum levels of sFlt-1 and PlGF were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The data were statistically analyzed via analysis of variance (ANOVA).


On average, fetal birth weight was 0.7150 g in the normal group, 0.4936 g in the PE group, and 0.6768 g in the PE with rVEGF121 injection group. ANOVA showed significant growth restriction in the PE group (P=0.006), confirming the use of anti Qa-2 as a suitable PE model. Kidney histopathology results, sFlt-1 levels, and PlGF levels also demonstrated that anti Qa-2 consistently conferred hallmarks of PE in mice. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injection prevented fetal growth restriction; comparable fetal weights were observed between the PE model with VEGF treatment and the normal group (P=0.610) but differed from the untreated PE group (P=0.021).


Injection of rVEGF121 has the potential to prevent fetal growth restriction in a newly proposed PE mouse model.

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