Vascular endothelial growth factor-B-deficient mice display an atrial conduction defect

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


BACKGROUND: Vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) and their receptors are essential regulators of vasculogenesis and angiogenesis in both embryos and adults. One of the factors with a still unknown physiological function is VEGF-B, which is expressed in many tissues, including the heart. METHODS AND RESULTS: Mice carrying a targeted deletion in the VEGF-B gene were developed. In VEGF-B(-/-) animals, no gross abnormalities were observed in organs that normally show high expression of VEGF-B, such as the heart, muscle, and kidney. Analysis of heart function by ECG showed that adult VEGF-B(-/-) mice have an atrial conduction abnormality characterized by a prolonged PQ interval. VEGF- or basic fibroblast growth factor-induced corneal angiogenesis was similar in normal and VEGF-B(-/-) mice. CONCLUSIONS: VEGF-B seems to be required for normal heart function in adult animals but is not required for proper development of the cardiovascular system either during development or for angiogenesis in adults.


  • Karin Aase
  • Gabriel von Euler
  • Xuri Li
  • Annica Pontén
  • Peter Thoren
  • Renhai Cao
  • Yihai Cao
  • Birgitta Olofsson
  • Samuel Gebre-Medhin
  • Milos Pekny
  • Kari Alitalo
  • Christer Betsholtz
  • Ulf Eriksson
External organisations
  • Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Uppsala branch
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • electrocardiography, growth substances, angiogenesis, atrium, conduction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Hematopoietic Stem Cell Laboratory (013022012)