Angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis are vital processes that allow the formation of new blood and lymph vessels from existing vessels to bring oxygen and vital nutrients to the body. These processes occur through Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) signaling to vascular endothelial cells where they bind to cell surface receptors. There are a variety of responses to these signals including cell proliferation, migration and survival. In this study Human Umbilical Vascular Endothelial Cells (HUVECs) and Human Lymphatic Endothelial Cells (HLECs) were stressed with Tunicamycin and supplemented with various VEGF signals to examine how cell survival pathways might respond during VEGF signaling. Crystal violet proliferation assays and Western blot analyses were used to examine survival of these cells and expression levels of proteins involved in the survival pathways. Overall it was determined that VEGF-A helps activate these survival pathways under chemical stress, with better responses observed for combined VEGF-A and VEGF-C signaling. However, VEGF-C alone did not rescue cell growth at high stress levels suggesting that VEGF-C signaling pathway regulation is independent of the VEGF-A survival pathway signaling.
Smith, Haley M. and Vandergon, Thomas, "Comparison of Downstream Cell Survival Responses in HUVECs and HLECs During VEGF Signaling" (2014). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 144.