Research ArticleCardiovascular Disease

Evidence for a protective role of placental growth factor in cardiovascular disease

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Science Translational Medicine  02 Dec 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 572, eabc8587
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abc8587

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Protection through PlGF

Risk factors that promote vascular injury have been linked to atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events, but factors involved in vascular repair have received less attention. Chen et al. focused on placental growth factor (PlGF), which promotes endothelial cell growth and survival in response to ischemia. They identified links between high plasma PlGF and increased coronary artery disease and increased risk of acute cardiovascular events in a large cohort of individuals. PlGF was released from injured endothelial cells and regulated endothelial and smooth muscle cell repair. Stable atherosclerotic plaques exhibited higher PlGF expression, and a high ratio of circulating PlGF to the cell stress marker TRAIL receptor-2 indicated lower cardiovascular risk. Results help identify a protective mechanism for PlGF in cardiovascular disease.

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