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Peptide growth factors and their receptors in the vein wall
  1. Marta Bruczko-Goralewska1,
  2. Lech Romanowicz1,
  3. Justyna Bączyk1,
  4. Małgorzata Wolańska1,
  5. Krzysztof Sobolewski1,
  6. Radosław Kowalewski2
  1. 1 Department of Medical Biochemistry, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland
  2. 2 Department of General, Vascular and Oncological Surgery, Międzylesie Interdisciplinary Hospital, Warsaw, Poland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marta Bruczko-Goralewska, Medical Biochemistry, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok 15-089, Poland; marta.bruczko{at}


The varicose vein wall remodeling is a very complex process, which is controlled by numerous factors, including peptide growth factors. The aim of the study was to assess a/b FGF, IGF-1, TGF-β1, VEGF-A and their receptors in the vein wall. Varicose vein samples were taken from 24 patients undergoing varicose vein surgery. The control material consisted of vein specimens collected from 12 patients with chronic limb ischemia. Contents of aFGF, bFGF, IGF-I, TGF-β1, VEGF, IGF-1R, VEGF R1 and VEGF R2 were assessed with ELISA method. Protein expression of FGF R1 and TGF-β RII were evaluated with western blot. Increased contents of aFGF, IGF-1 and VEGF-A were found in varicose veins in comparison with normal ones (p<0.05). In contrast, a significant decrease in TGF-β content was demonstrated in varicose veins (p<0.05). Furthermore, there was no difference in bFGF content in both groups (p>0.05). IGF-1 R content was significantly increased in varicose veins (p<0.05). There was no difference in VEGF R1 content between varicose and normal veins (p>0.05), whereas VEGF R2 content was significantly increased in varicose veins (p<0.05). Western blot demonstrated increased expression of TGF-β RII in varicose veins (p<0.05) and similar expression of FGF R1 in both groups (p>0.05). Demonstrated changes in peptide growth factors and their receptors may disturb metabolism of extracellular matrix in the varicose vein wall and contribute to the development of the disease to its more advanced stages.

  • varicose veins
  • FGF
  • IGF-1
  • TGF-β1
  • VEGF

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  • Contributors MB-G: designing the study, acquisition of the data and writing the paper. LR: acquisition of the data, analyzing the data and writing the paper. JB: acquisition of the data. MW: analyzing the data amd writing the paper. RK: designing the study, providing samples and drafting the work. KS: designing the study, analyzing the data and drafting the work.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval The studies have been conducted according to the principles specified in the Declaration of Helsinki and was accepted by the Committee for Ethics and Supervision on Human Research of the Medical University of Bialystok, Poland (R-1-002/185/2009).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.