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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 451906, 10 pages
Review Article

The Multiple Roles of EG-VEGF/PROK1 in Normal and Pathological Placental Angiogenesis

1Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CEA), DSV-iRTSV, 17 rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
2Université Grenoble-Alpes, 38041 Grenoble, France
3Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U1036 (INSERM U1036), Biologie du Cancer et de l’Infection, Laboratoire BCI-iRTSV, CEA Grenoble, 17 rue des Martyrs, 38054 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
4CHU de Grenoble, Hôpital Couple Enfant, Département de Génétique et Procréation, Centre d’Aide Médicale à la Procréation, CS 10217, 38043 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
5Service de Gynécologie-Obstétrique “C”, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Ibn Rochd, Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie, Université Hassan II, Ain Chok, 1 rue des Hôpitaux-ex Banaflous, 20360 Casablanca, Morocco
6Plateau Commun de Recherche, Unité de Culture Cellulaire, Faculté de Médecine et de Pharmacie, 19 rue Tarek Bnou Ziad, 20360 Casablanca, Morocco
7Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 5249, 38054 Grenoble Cedex 9, France

Received 6 February 2014; Revised 8 April 2014; Accepted 14 April 2014; Published 15 May 2014

Academic Editor: Padma Murthi

Copyright © 2014 Nadia Alfaidy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Placentation is associated with several steps of vascular adaptations throughout pregnancy. These vascular changes occur both on the maternal and fetal sides, consisting of maternal uterine spiral arteries remodeling and placental vasculogenesis and angiogenesis, respectively. Placental angiogenesis is a pivotal process for efficient fetomaternal exchanges and placental development. This process is finely controlled throughout pregnancy, and it involves ubiquitous and pregnancy-specific angiogenic factors. In the last decade, endocrine gland derived vascular endothelial growth factor (EG-VEGF), also called prokineticin 1 (PROK1), has emerged as specific placental angiogenic factor that controls many aspects of normal and pathological placental angiogenesis such as recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL), gestational trophoblastic diseases (GTD), fetal growth restriction (FGR), and preeclampsia (PE). This review recapitulates EG-VEGF mediated-angiogenesis within the placenta and at the fetomaternal interface and proposes that its deregulation might contribute to the pathogenesis of several placental diseases including FGR and PE. More importantly this paper argues for EG-VEGF clinical relevance as a potential biomarker of the onset of pregnancy pathologies and discusses its potential usefulness for future therapeutic directions.