Heritability of circulating growth factors involved in the angiogenesis in healthy human population

I. Pantsulaia, S. Trofimov, E. Kobyliansky, G. Livshits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study examined the extent of genetic and environmental influences on the populational variation of circulating growth factors (VEGF, EGF) involved in angiogenesis in healthy and ethnically homogeneous Caucasian families. The plasma levels of each of the studied biochemical indices were determined by enzyme-linked immunoassay in 478 healthy individuals aged 18-75 years. Quantitative genetic analysis showed that the VEGF and EGF variation was appreciably attributable to genetic effects, with heritability estimates of 79.9% and 48.4%, respectively. Yet, common environmental factors, shared by members of the same household, also played a significant role (P<0.01) and explained between 20.1% and 32.6% of the variation. The present study additionally examined the covariations between these molecules and either transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) or tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases 1 (TIMP-1), likewise relevant for angiogenesis. Bivariate analysis revealed significant phenotypic correlations (P<0.002) between all pairs of variables, thus indicating the possible existence of common genetic and environmental factors. The analysis suggested that the pleiotropic genetic effects were consistently the primary (or even the sole) source of correlation between all pairs of studied molecules. The results of our study affirm the existence of specific and common genetic pathways that commonly determine the greater part of the circulating variation of these molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-158
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - 21 Sep 2004


FundersFunder number
Israel National Commission
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Iran National Science Foundation544/00-1
Council for Higher Education


    • EGF
    • Genetic correlation
    • TGF-β1
    • TIMP-1
    • VEGF


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