Relationship of VEGF/VEGFR with immune and cancer cells: staggering or forward?

Yu-Ling Li, Hua Zhao, Xiu-Bao Ren


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is primarily known as a proangiogenic factor and is one of the most important growthand survival factors affecting the vascular endothelium. However, recent studies have shown that VEGF also plays a vital role in theimmune environment. In addition to the traditional growth factor role of VEGF and VEGF receptors (VEGFRs), they have acomplicated relationship with various immune cells. VEGF also reportedly inhibits the differentiation and function of immunecells during hematopoiesis. Dendritic cells (DCs), macrophages, and lymphocytes further express certain types of VEGF receptors.VEGF can be secreted as well by tumor cells through the autocrine pathway and can stimulate the function of cancer stemness.This review will provide a paradigm shift in our understanding of the role of VEGF/VEGFR signaling in the immune and cancerenvironment.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF); VEGF receptors (VEGFRs); dendritic cell (DC); macrophage; T lymphocyte; tumor

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