VEGF, for vascular endothelial growth factor, is a prototypic angiogenic factor that was originally known for its critical role in blood vessel formation. Emerging evidence however has revealed that VEGF also regulates a wide range of developmental and adult neurobiological processes, including neurogenesis, neuroprotection and axon guidance. This lecture highlights recent advances in understanding how VEGF directly affects neuronal guidance, referring to studies that employed various mouse models to demonstrate the requirement for VEGF / VEGF receptor signaling. Novel findings uncovered the underlying molecular mechanism involving a cross-talk between VEGF, its receptor VEGFR and the glutamate receptor NMDAR, that is able to modulate non-synaptic NMDAR function. The implication of such a cross-talk between an angiogenic factor and a classic receptor of a neurotransmitter will be discussed in the context of the regulation of hippocampal synaptic transmission.
Claire MEISSIREL, CRNL/Oncoflam