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Int J Clin Exp Pathol 2013;6(4):810-815

Medical Hypothesis
Aberrant alteration of vascular endothelial growth factor-family sig-naling in human tubal
ectopic pregnancy: what is known and un-known?

Ruijin Shao, Junting Hu, Yi Feng, Håkan Billig

Department of Physiology/Endocrinology, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg,
Gothenburg 40530, Sweden; Department of Integrative Medicine and Neurobiology, State Key Lab of Medical Neurobiology, Shanghai Medi-cal
College and Institute of Acupuncture Research (WHO Collaborating Center for Traditional Medicine), Institute of Brain Science, Fudan
University, Shanghai 200032, China

Received February 8, 2013; Accepted February 25, 2013; Epub March 15, 2013; Published April 1, 2013

Abstract: More than 98% of ectopic pregnancies occur in the Fallopian tube. Because many facets of tubal ectopic pregnancy remain unclear,
prediction, prevention and treatment of tubal ectopic pregnancy are still a major clinical challenge. Compelling evidence suggests that
angiogenic growth factors are involved in normal and abnormal implantation. While acknowledging the importance of an intrauterine pregnancy
requires the development of a local blood supply and angiogenesis, we hypothesize that the hypoxic- and estrogen-dependent regulation of
vascular endothelial growth factor/placental growth factor expression, secretion, and signaling pathways that are possibly involved in the
pathophysiology of tubal ectopic pregnancy. Our hypothesis may also lead to a new therapeutic strategy for women with tubal ectopic
pregnancy. (IJCEP1302015).

Keywords: VEGF, VEGF receptor, fallopian tube, ectopic pregnancy

Address correspondence to: Dr. Ruijin Shao, Department of Physiology/Endocrinology, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The
Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg 40530, Sweden. Tel: +46 31 7863408; Fax: +46 31 7863512; E-mail:
ruijin.shao@fysiologi.gu.se