Adaptive hypoxic tolerance in the subterranean mole rat Spalax ehrenbergi: The role of vascular endothelial growth factor

A. Avivi, M. B. Resnick, E. Nevo, A. Joel, A. P. Levy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Spalax ehrenbergi has evolved adaptations that allow it to survive and carry out normal activities in a highly hypoxic environment. A key component of this adaptation is a higher capillary density in some Spalax tissues resulting in a shorter diffusion distance for oxygen. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an angiogenic factor that is critical for angiogenesis during development and in response to tissue ischemia. We demonstrate here that VEGF expression is markedly increased in those Spalax tissues with a higher capillary density relative to the normal laboratory rat Rattus norvegicus. Upregulation of VEGF thus appears to be an additional mechanism by which Spalax has adapted to its hypoxic environment. Copyright (C) 1999 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
JournalFEBS Letters
Volume452
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 11 Jun 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the Israeli Cancer Association (A.P.L.), the Israeli Academy of Sciences (A.P.L.), the Rappaport Institute for Medical Research (A.P.L.), the Israel Discount Bank Chair of Evolutionary Biology (E.N.) and the Ancell-Teicher Research Foundation for Genetics and Molecular Evolution (E.N.).

Keywords

  • Capillary density
  • Hypoxia
  • Spalax ehrenbergi
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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