Differential Expression of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A165 Isoforms Between Intracranial Atherosclerosis and Moyamoya Disease

Journal of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases

Jiang H, Toscano JF, Schiraldi M, Song SS, Schlick KH, Dumitrascu OM, Liou R, Lyden PD, Pan J, Zhan R, Saver JL and Gonzalez NR

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2019 Feb;28(2):360-368

DOI: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2018.10.004



ascular endothelial growth factor-A165 (VEGF-A165) has been identified as a combination of 2 alternative splice variants: proangiogenic VEGF-A165a and antiangiogenic VEGF-A165b. Intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD) and moyamoya disease (MMD) are 2 main types of intracranial arterial steno-occlusive disorders with distinct capacities for collateral formation. Recent studies indicate that VEGF-A165 regulates collateral growth in ischemia. Therefore, we investigated if there is a distinctive composition of VEGF-A165 isoforms in ICAD and MMD.

Sixty-six ICAD patients, 6 MMD patients, and 5 controls were enrolled in this prospective study. ICAD and MMD patients received intensive medical management upon enrollment. Surgery was offered to 9 ICAD patients who had recurrent ischemic events, 6 MMD patients, and 5 surgical controls without ICAD. VEGF-A165a and VEGF-A165b plasma levels were measured at baseline, within 1 week after patients having surgery, and at 1, 3, and 6 months after treatment.

A significantly higher baseline VEGF-A165a/b ratio was observed in MMD compared to ICAD (P = .016). The VEGF-A165a/b ratio increased significantly and rapidly after surgical treatment in ICAD (P = .026) more so than in MMD and surgical controls. In patients with ICAD receiving intensive medical management, there was also an elevation of the VEGF-A165a/b ratio, but at a slower rate, reaching the peak at 3 months after initiation of treatment (baseline versus 3 months VEGF-A165a/b ratio, P = .028).

Our study shows an increased VEGF-A165a/b ratio in MMD compared to ICAD, and suggests that both intensive medical management and surgical revascularization elevate the VEGF-A165a/b ratio in ICAD patients.