Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) plays a critical role in the regulation of mesenchymal cell migration and proliferation. Aberrant expression of PDGF and its receptor is often associated with a variety of disorders including atherosclerosis, fibroproliferative diseases of lungs, kidneys and joints, and neoplasia. PDGF may exert its function in white matter participating either in regeneration of damaged axons or in glial scar formation. PDGF-BB and its receptor expressed on microvessel endothelial cells might be involved in angiogenesis after stroke.
PDGF plays a significant role in blood vessel formation (angiogenesis), the growth of blood vessels from already-existing blood vessel tissue. Uncontrolled angiogenesis is a characteristic of cancer. PDGF contributes to cancer development and progression by both autocrine and paracrine signaling mechanisms.