Role of pigment epithelium-derived factor in the reproductive system

Dana Chuderland, Ido Ben-Ami, Hadas Bar-Joseph, Ruth Shalgi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The physiological function of the female reproductive organs is hormonally controlled. In each cycle, the reproductive organs undergo tissue modifications that are accompanied by formation and destruction of blood vessels. Proper angiogenesis requires an accurate balance between stimulatory and inhibitory signals, provided by pro-And anti-Angiogenic factors. As with many other tissues, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) appears to be one of the major pro-Angiogenic factors in the female reproductive organs. Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) is a non-inhibitory member of the serine protease inhibitors (serpin) superfamily, possessing potent physiologic anti-Angiogenic activity that negates VEGF activity. The role of PEDF in decreasing abnormal neovascularization by exerting its anti-Angiogenic effect that inhibits pro-Angiogenic factors, including VEGF, has been investigated mainly in the eye and in cancer. This review summarizes the function of PEDF in the reproductive system, showing its hormonal regulation and its anti-Angiogenic activity. Furthermore, some pathologies of the female reproductive organs, including endometriosis, ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, and others, are associated with a faulty angiogenic process. This review illuminates the role of PEDF in their pathogenesis and treatment. Collectively, we can conclude that although PEDF seems to play an essential role in the physiology and pathophysiology of the reproductive system, its full role and mechanism of action still need to be elucidated.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA1
Pages (from-to)R53-R61
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014


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