Vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) has been shown to stimulate both angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis in some but not all models where VEGF-C is over-expressed. Our aim was to investigate the interaction between lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis in adult tissues regulated by VEGF-C and identify evidence of polarized growth of lymphatics driven by specialized cells at the tip of the growing sprout.
Methods and results
We used an adult model of lymphangiogenesis in the rat mesentery. The angiogenic effect of VEGF-C was markedly attenuated in the presence of a growing lymphatic network. Furthermore, we show that this growth of lymphatic vessels can occur both by recruitment of isolated lymphatic islands to a connected network and by filopodial sprouting. The latter is independent of polarized tip cell differentiation that can be generated all along lymphatic capillaries, independently of the proliferation status of the lymphatic endothelial cells.
These results both demonstrate a dependence of VEGF-C-mediated angiogenesis on lymphatic vascular networks and indicate that the mechanism of VEGF-C-mediated lymphangiogenesis is different from that of classical angiogenic mechanisms.
Angiogenesis; Lymphangiogenesis; VEGF-C; Sprouting
Our aim was to detect lymphatic endothelial marker podoplanin, lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor-1 (LYVE-1) and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 (VEGFR)-3 and study the prognostic relevance of lymphangiogenesis in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
82 paraffin-embedded tissues and 40 fresh frozen tissues from patients with NSCLC were studied. Tumor samples were immunostained for the lymphatic endothelial markers. Lymphangiogenesis was assessed by immunohistochemical double stains for Podoplanin and Ki-67. The prognostic relevance of lymphangiogenesis-related clinicopathological parameters in NSCLC was evaluated.
We found that the number of podoplanin positive vessels was correlated positively with the number of LYVE-1 positive vessels. Most of VEGFR-3 positive, few of LYVE-1 positive and none of podoplanin positive vessels were blood vessels. Peritumoral lymphatic vessel density (ptLVD), pathologic stage, lymph node status, lymphatic vessel invasion (LVI), vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) expression and Ki-67 index of the endothelium cells of the micro lymphatic vessels (Ki67%) were associated significantly with a higher risk of tumor progress. ptLVD, pathologic stage, lymph-node metastasis and Ki67% were independent prognostic parameters for overall survival.
Podoplanin positive ptLVD might play important roles in the lymphangiogenesis and progression of NSCLC. Patients with high podoplanin+ ptLVD have a poor prognosis.
Metastatic spread of tumors is an important prognostic factor for cancer patients. The effect of angiogenesis on cancer cell proliferation and metastatic spread has been confirmed. However, less attention has been focused on research involving tumor lymphangiogenesis as opposed to research on tumor angiogenesis, due to the lack of specific markers for lymphatic vessel endothelial cells (LVECs). Recently, the improvement of isolation techniques for LVECs and the discovery of specific LVEC markers such as vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 (VEGFR-3), podoplanin, lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor-1 (LYVE-1) and Prox1 have led to advances in research involving lymphangiogenesis in carcinoma tissues. New lymphatic vessels in tumor tissues may originate from bone marrow endothelial progenitor cells, directly from the preexisting lymphatic vessels, and even by cell transformation. Peritumoral lymphatic vessels play a more important role in the process of tumor metastasis by providing more channels for lymphatic invasion and metastatic spread. The molecular mechanism of tumor lymphangiogenesis is complicated, and numerous factors such as VEGF-A, platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), and angiopoietins (Ang) are directly or indirectly involved in the process. However, it has been demonstrated that the VEGF-C/VEGF-D/VEGFR-3 signaling pathways are the most important mechanism underlying tumor lymphangiogenesis.
carcinoma; lymphangiogenesis; lymphatic metastasis; lymphatic vessel density
In vivo studies demonstrate that the Prox1 transcription factor plays a critical role in the development of the early lymphatic system. Upon Prox1 expression, early lymphatic endothelial cells differentiate from the cardinal vein and begin to express lymphatic markers such as VEGFR-3, LYVE-1 and Podoplanin. Subsequent in vitro studies have found that differentiated vascular endothelial cells can be reprogrammed by Prox1 to express a lymphatic gene profile, suggesting that Prox1 can initiate the expression of a unique gene signature during lymphangiogenesis. While the in vitro data suggest that gene reprogramming occurs upon Prox1 expression, it is not clear if this is a direct result of Prox1 in vascular endothelial cells in vivo.
Overexpression of Prox1 in vascular endothelial cells during embryonic development results in the reprogramming of genes to that of a more lymphatic signature. Consequent to this overexpression, embryos suffer from gross edema that results in embryonic lethality at E13.5. Furthermore, hemorrhaging and anemia is apparent along with clear defects in lymph sac development. Alterations in junctional proteins resulting in an increase in vascular permeability upon Prox1 overexpression may contribute to the complications found during embryonic development.
We present a novel mouse model that addresses the importance of Prox1 in early embryonic lymphangiogenesis. It is clear that there needs to be a measured pattern of expression of Prox1 during embryonic development. Furthermore, Prox1 reprograms vascular endothelial cells in vivo by creating a molecular signature to that of a lymphatic endothelial cell.
Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is necessary for KS, a highly vascularized tumor predominated by endothelial-derived spindle cells that express markers of lymphatic endothelium. Following KSHV infection of TIME cells, an immortalized human dermal microvascular endothelial cell (DMVEC) line, expression of many genes specific to lymphatic endothelium, including VEGFR3, podoplanin, LYVE-1, and Prox-1, is significantly increased. Increases in VEGFR3 and podoplanin protein are also demonstrated following latent infection. Examination of cytokine secretion showed that KSHV infection significantly induces hIL-6 while strongly inhibiting secretion of IL-8, a gene product that is decreased by differentiation of blood to lymphatic endothelial cells. These studies support the hypotheses that latent KSHV infection of blood endothelial cells drives their differentiation to lymphatic endothelial cells.
KSHV; HHV-8; Endothelial; Lymphatic; Human herpesvirus; Angiogenesis; VEGF receptor3; IL-6; Podoplanin; Kaposi’s sarcoma
Lymphangiomas are neoplasias of childhood. Their etiology is unknown and a causal therapy does not exist. The recent discovery of highly specific markers for lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) has permitted their isolation and characterization, but expression levels and stability of molecular markers on LECs from healthy and lymphangioma tissues have not been studied yet. We addressed this problem by profiling LECs from normal dermis and two children suffering from lymphangioma, and also compared them with blood endothelial cells (BECs) from umbilical vein, aorta and myometrial microvessels.
Lymphangioma tissue samples were obtained from two young patients suffering from lymphangioma in the axillary and upper arm region. Initially isolated with anti-CD31 (PECAM-1) antibodies, the cells were separated by FACS sorting and magnetic beads using anti-podoplanin and/or LYVE-1 antibodies. Characterization was performed by FACS analysis, immunofluorescence staining, ELISA and micro-array gene analysis.
LECs from foreskin and lymphangioma had an almost identical pattern of lymphendothelial markers such as podoplanin, Prox1, reelin, cMaf and integrin-α1 and -α9. However, LYVE-1 was down-regulated and VEGFR-2 and R-3 were up-regulated in lymphangiomas. Prox1 was constantly expressed in LECs but not in any of the BECs.
LECs from different sources express slightly variable molecular markers, but can always be distinguished from BECs by their Prox1 expression. High levels of VEGFR-3 and -2 seem to contribute to the etiology of lymphangiomas.
The clinical study for lingual disease requires the detailed investigation of the lingual lymphatic network and lymphatic marker-positive cells. Recently, it has been reported that several tissue cells and leukocytes express lymphatic markers, LYVE-1 and podoplanin. This study was aimed to clarify the lingual distribution of cells expressing LYVE-1 and podoplanin. In the mouse tongue, podoplanin is expressed in nerve sheaths, lingual gland myoepithelial cells, and lymphatic vessels. LYVE-1 is expressed in the macrophage marker Mac-1-positive cells as well as lymphatic vessels, while factor-VIII was detected in only blood endothelial cells. α-SMA was detected in vascular smooth muscle and myoepithelial cells. Therefore, identification of lymphatic vessels in lingual glands, the combination of LYVE-1 and factor-VIII, or LYVE-1 and Mac-1 is useful because myoepithelial cells express podoplanin and α-SMA. The immunostaining of factor-VIII on lymphatic vessels was masked by the immunostaining to LYVE-1 or podoplanin because lymphatic vessels express factor-VIII to a far lesser extent than blood vessels. Therefore, except for the salivary glands, the combination of podoplanin and α-SMA, or factor-VIII is useful to identify lymphatic vessels and blood vessels with smooth muscle, or blood capillaries.
podoplanin; LYVE-1; lymphatic vessels; macrophages
Lymphatic is a prerequisite for the maintenance of tissue fluid balance and immunity in the body. A body of evidence also shows that lymphangiogenesis plays important roles in the pathogenesis of diseases such as tumor metastasis and inflammation. The eye was thought to lack lymphatic vessels except for the conjunctiva; however, advances in the field, including the identification of lymphatic endothelial markers (e.g., LYVE-1 or podoplanin) and lymphangiogenic factors (e.g., VEGF-C), have revealed the exsitence and possible roles of lymphatics and lymphangiogenesis in the eye. Recent studies have shown that corneal limbus, ciliary body, lacrimal gland, orbital meninges, and extraocular muscles contain lymphatic vessels and that the choroid might have a lymphatic-like system. There is no known lymphatic outflow from the eye. However, several lymphatic channels including uveolymphatic pathway might serve the ocular fluid homeostasis. Furthermore, lymphangiogenesis plays important roles in pathological conditions in the eye including corneal transplant rejection and ocular tumor progression. Yet, the role of lymphangiogenesis in most eye diseases, especially inflammatory disease or edema, remains unknown. A better understanding of lymphatic and lymphangiogenesis in the eye will open new therapeutic opportunities to prevent vision loss in ocular diseases.
Observations in our laboratory provide evidence of vascular islands, defined as disconnected endothelial cell segments, in the adult microcirculation. The objective of this study was to determine if vascular islands are involved in angiogenesis during microvascular network growth.
Mesenteric tissues, which allow visualization of entire microvascular networks at a single cell level, were harvested from unstimulated adult male Wistar rats and Wistar rats 3 and 10 days post angiogenesis stimulation by mast cell degranulation with compound 48/80. Tissues were immunolabeled for PECAM and BRDU. Identification of vessel lumens via injection of FITC-dextran confirmed that endothelial cell segments were disconnected from nearby patent networks. Stimulated networks displayed increases in vascular area, length density, and capillary sprouting. On day 3, the percentage of islands with at least one BRDU-positive cell increased compared to the unstimulated level and was equal to the percentage of capillary sprouts with at least one BRDU-positive cell. At day 10, the number of vascular islands per vascular area dramatically decreased compared to unstimulated and day 3 levels.
These results show that vascular islands have the ability to proliferate and suggest that they are able to incorporate into the microcirculation during the initial stages of microvascular network growth.
Angiogenesis; Microcirculation; Mesentery; Proliferation; Endothelial cell
We examined the immunohistochemical properties of selective lymph vessel markers such as LYVE-1, podoplanin, Prox-1, and VEGF R3, as well as NO synthase (NOS) and cyclo-oxygenase (COX) in two kinds of human lymphatic endothelial cell isolated from collecting and initial lymph vessels. The constitutively expressed genes in the two kinds of lymphatic endothelial cell were also evaluated using oligonucleotide microarray analysis and RT-PCR. We also investigated the effects of the oxygen concentration in culture conditions on the proliferative activities of the two kinds of human lymphatic endothelial cell. Immunoreactivity to LYVE-1 and the RT-PCR expression level of LYVE-1 mRNA in endothelial cells of initial lymph vessels were stronger than those of collecting lymph vessels. Immunoreactivity to ecNOS, iNOS, COX1, and COX2 was also found to be significantly higher than in collecting lymph vessels. In contrast, an increase in the O2 concentration ranging from 5% to 21% caused a significant reduction in the proliferative activity of endothelial cells in collecting lymph vessels. In conclusion, these findings suggest that there exists a marked heterogeneity in the immunohistochemical, genomic, and proliferative activity of human lymphatic endothelial cells between initial and collecting lymph vessels. (*English Translation of J Jpn Coll Angiol, 2008, 48: 125-130.)
lymphatic endothelial cell; initial lymph vessel; collecting lymph vessel; sentinel lymph node; culture
Objective: Angiogenesis is the growth of new vessels from pre-existing vessels and commonly associated with two modes: capillary sprouting and capillary splitting. Previous work by our laboratory suggests vascular island incorporation might be another endothelial cell dynamic involved in microvascular remodeling. Vascular islands are defined as endothelial cell segments disconnected from nearby networks, but their origin remains unclear. The objective of this study was to determine whether vascular islands associated with microvascular regression are involved in network regrowth.
Methods: Mesenteric tissues were harvested from adult male Wistar rats according to the experimental groups: unstimulated, post stimulation (10 and 70 days), and 70 days post stimulation + restimulation (3 and 10 days). Stimulation was induced by mast cell degranulation via intraperitoneal injections of compound 48/80. Tissues were immunolabeled for PECAM (endothelial cells), neuron-glial antigen 2 (NG2) (pericytes), collagen IV (basement membrane), and BrdU (proliferation).
Results: Percent vascular area per tissue area and length density increased by day 10 post stimulation compared to the unstimulated group. At day 70, vascular area and length density were then decreased, indicating vascular regression compared to the day 10 levels. The number of vascular islands at day 10 post stimulation was dramatically reduced compared to the unstimulated group. During regression at day 70, the number of islands increased. The disconnected endothelial cells were commonly bridged to surrounding networks by collagen IV labeling. NG2-positive pericytes were observed both along the islands and the collagen IV tracks. At 3 days post restimulation, vascular islands contained BrdU-positive cells. By day 10 post restimulation, when vascular area and length density were again increased, and the number of vascular islands was dramatically reduced.
Conclusion: The results suggest that vascular islands originating during microvascular regression are capable of undergoing proliferation and incorporation into nearby networks during network regrowth.
angiogenesis; microcirculation; mesentery; proliferation; endothelial cell; disconnected segment; vascular island
In the inflamed cornea, there is a parallel outgrowth of blood and lymphatic vessels into the normally avascular cornea. We tested whether adaptive and/or innate immune cells were actively involved in the genesis of new lymphatic vessels. Our results indicate that innate immune cells (CD11b+ macrophages, but not CD11c+ dendritic cells) physically contributed to lymphangiogenesis under pathological conditions and that bone marrow–derived CD11b+ macrophages expressed lymphatic endothelial markers such as LYVE-1 and Prox-1 under inflamed conditions in the corneal stromata of mice. Furthermore, blood vascular endothelial cells that expressed the Tie2 promoter did not contribute to newly formed lymphatic vessels under inflamed conditions. Our in vitro experiments demonstrated that CD11b+ macrophages alone were capable of forming tube-like structures that expressed markers of lymphatic endothelium such as LYVE-1 and podoplanin. The novel finding that CD11b+ macrophages are critical for the development of inflammation-dependent lymphangiogenesis in the eye suggests a new mechanism of lymphangiogenesis.
Fibroblast growth factors play important roles in angiogenesis, but their functions in lymphangiogenesis remain poorly understood. The homeodomain transcription factor Prox1 is essential for development of the lymphatic system by specifying lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) fate. Here, we identify fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptor (FGFR)-3 as a novel Prox1 target gene. Ectopic overexpression of Prox1 in blood vascular endothelial cells up-regulates FGFR-3. Prox1 induces the expression of the IIIc isoform, which we also found to be the major isoform of FGFR-3 expressed in LECs. This transcriptional activation is mediated by a direct binding of Prox1 to newly identified Prox1-response elements in the FGFR-3 promoter. Consistently, FGFR-3 is up-regulated in Prox1-positive newly formed lymphatic vessels during embryogenesis and its lymphatic-specific expression is maintained throughout development. We also found that FGF-1 and FGF-2 promote proliferation, migration, and survival of cultured LECs without involvement of vascular endothelial cell growth factor receptor-3. We show that FGF-2 binds to low- and high-affinity receptors on LECs and is efficiently internalized and processed. Moreover, functional inhibition of FGFR-3 using small interfering RNA represses LEC proliferation. Together, these results indicate that FGFR-3 is an initial target of Prox1 during the lymphatic cell fate specification and that FGF signaling may play an important role in lymphatic vessel development.
Physiologically, the lymphatic system regulates fluid volume in the interstitium and provides a conduit for immune cells to travel to lymph nodes, but pathologically, the lymphatic system serves as a primary escape route for cancer cells. Lymphatic capillaries have a thin discontinuous basement membrane, lack pericyte coverage, and often contain endothelial cell gaps that can be invaded by immune cells (or tumor cells). In addition, tumor cells and stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment secrete factors that stimulate lymphangiogenesis, the growth of lymphatic endothelial cells and the sprouting of lymphatic capillaries. As a result, many tumors are surrounded by large, hyperplastic, peri-tumoral lymphatic vessels and less frequently are invaded by intra-tumoral lymphatic vessels. Carcinoma cells commonly metastasize through these lymphatic vessels to regional lymph nodes. The presence of metastatic cells in the sentinel lymph node is a prognostic indicator for many types of cancer, and the degree of dissemination determines the therapeutic course of action. Lymphangiogenesis is currently at the frontier of metastasis research. Recent strides in this field have uncovered numerous signaling pathways specific for lymphatic endothelial cells and vascular endothelial cells. This review will provide an overview of tumor lymphangiogenesis and current strategies aimed at inhibiting lymphatic metastasis. Novel therapeutic approaches that target the tumor cells as well as the vascular and lymphatic endothelial compartments are discussed.
Reelin signaling is activated by communication between the two cell types of the collecting lymphatic vessels and promotes smooth muscle cell recruitment, which is necessary for lymphatic vessel morphogenesis and function.
Active lymph transport relies on smooth muscle cell (SMC) contractions around collecting lymphatic vessels, yet regulation of lymphatic vessel wall assembly and lymphatic pumping are poorly understood. Here, we identify Reelin, an extracellular matrix glycoprotein previously implicated in central nervous system development, as an important regulator of lymphatic vascular development. Reelin-deficient mice showed abnormal collecting lymphatic vessels, characterized by a reduced number of SMCs, abnormal expression of lymphatic capillary marker lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor 1 (LYVE-1), and impaired function. Furthermore, we show that SMC recruitment to lymphatic vessels stimulated release and proteolytic processing of endothelium-derived Reelin. Lymphatic endothelial cells in turn responded to Reelin by up-regulating monocyte chemotactic protein 1 (MCP1) expression, which suggests an autocrine mechanism for Reelin-mediated control of endothelial factor expression upstream of SMC recruitment. These results uncover a mechanism by which Reelin signaling is activated by communication between the two cell types of the collecting lymphatic vessels—smooth muscle and endothelial cells—and highlight a hitherto unrecognized and important function for SMCs in lymphatic vessel morphogenesis and function.
Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) is highly expressed by lymphatic endothelial cells and has been shown to stimulate lymphangiogenesis in adult mice. However, the role VEGFR2 serves in the development of the lymphatic vascular system has not been defined. Here we use the Cre-lox system to show that the proper development of the lymphatic vasculature requires VEGFR2 expression by lymphatic endothelium. We show that Lyve-1wt/Cre;Vegfr2flox/flox mice possess significantly fewer dermal lymphatic vessels than Vegfr2flox/flox mice. Although Lyve-1wt/Cre;Vegfr2flox/flox mice exhibit lymphatic hypoplasia, the lymphatic network is functional and contains all of the key features of a normal lymphatic network (initial lymphatic vessels and valved collecting vessels surrounded by smooth muscle cells (SMCs)). We also show that Lyve-1Cre mice display robust Cre activity in macrophages and in blood vessels in the yolk sac, liver and lung. This activity dramatically impairs the development of blood vessels in these tissues in Lyve-1wt/Cre;Vegfr2flox/flox embryos, most of which die after embryonic day14.5. Lastly, we show that inactivation of Vegfr2 in the myeloid lineage does not affect the development of the lymphatic vasculature. Therefore, the abnormal lymphatic phenotype of Lyve-1wt/Cre;Vegfr2flox/flox mice is due to the deletion of Vegfr2 in the lymphatic vasculature not macrophages. Together, this work demonstrates that VEGFR2 directly promotes the expansion of the lymphatic network and further defines the molecular mechanisms controlling the development of the lymphatic vascular system.
CRSBP-1, a membrane glycoprotein, can mediate cell-surface retention of secreted growth factors containing CRS motifs such as PDGF-BB. CRSBP-1 has recently been found to be identical to LYVE-1, a specific marker for lymphatic capillary endothelial cells. The in vivo role of CRSBP-1/LYVE-1 is unknown. CRSBP-1-null mice are overtly normal and fertile but exhibit identifiable morphological and functional alterations of lymphatic capillary vessels in certain tissues, marked by the constitutively increased interstitial-lymphatic flow and lack of typical irregularly-shaped lumens. The CRSBP-1 ligands PDGF-BB and HA enhance interstitial-lymphatic flow in wild-type mice but not in CRSBP-1-null animals.
CRSBP-1; LYVE-1; CRSBP-1/LYVE-1 null mice; PDGF; PDGF-BB; HA; distended lumens; interstitial-lymphatic flow
To date, adult lymphangiogenesis is not well understood. In this study we describe the evolution of lymphatic capillaries in regenerating skin and correlate lymphatic migration and organization with the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), immune cells, the growth factors VEGF-A and VEGF-C, and the heparan sulfate proteogylcan perlecan, a key component of basement membrane. We show that while lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) migrate and organize unidirectionally, in the direction of interstitial fluid flow, they do not sprout into the region but rather migrate as single cells that later join together into vessels. Furthermore, in a modified “shunted flow” version of the model, infiltrated LECs fail to organize into functional vessels, indicating that interstitial fluid flow is necessary for lymphatic organization. Perlecan expression on new lymphatic vessels was only observed after vessel organization was complete and also appeared first in the distal region, consistent with the directionality of lymphatic migration and organization. VEGF-C expression peaked at the initiation of lymphangiogenesis but was reduced to lower levels throughout organization and maturation. In mice lacking MMP-9, lymphatics regenerated normally, suggesting that MMP-9 is not required for lymphangiogenesis, at least in mouse skin. This study thus characterizes the process of adult lymphangiogenesis and differentiates it from sprouting blood angiogenesis, verifies its dependence on interstitial fluid flow for vessel organization, and correlates its temporal evolution with those of relevant environmental factors.
lymphatic; vasculogenesis; interstitial fluid flow; matrix metalloproteinase-9; perlecan
Onchocerciasis, caused by the filarial nematode Onchocerca volvulus, is a parasitic disease leading to debilitating skin disease and blindness, with major economic and social consequences. The pathology of onchocerciasis is principally considered to be a consequence of long-standing host inflammatory responses. In onchocerciasis a subcutaneous nodule is formed around the female worms, the core of which is a dense infiltrate of inflammatory cells in which microfilariae are released. It has been established that the formation of nodules is associated with angiogenesis. In this study, we show using specific markers of endothelium (CD31) and lymphatic endothelial cells (Lyve-1, Podoplanin) that not only angiogenesis but also lymphangiogenesis occurs within the nodule. 7% of the microfilariae could be found within the lymphatics, but none within blood vessels in these nodules, suggesting a possible route of migration for the larvae. The neovascularisation was associated with a particular pattern of angio/lymphangiogenic factors in nodules of onchocerciasis patients, characterized by the expression of CXCL12, CXCR4, VEGF-C, Angiopoietin-1 and Angiopoietin-2. Interestingly, a proportion of macrophages were found to be positive for Lyve-1 and some were integrated into the endothelium of the lymphatic vessels, revealing their plasticity in the nodular micro-environment. These results indicate that lymphatic as well as blood vascularization is induced around O. volvulus worms, either by the parasite itself, e.g. by the release of angiogenic and lymphangiogenic factors, or by consecutive host immune responses.
Methods: Synovial tissues from 5 normal controls, 14 patients with RA, and 16 patients with OA were studied. Lymphatic vessels were identified by immunohistochemistry using antibodies directed against the lymphatic endothelial hyaluronan receptor (LYVE-1) and recognised blood vessel endothelial markers (factor VIII, CD34, CD31).
Results: Lymphatic vessels were found in all zones of the normal, OA, and RA synovial membrane. Few lymphatic vessels were seen in the sublining zone in normal and OA synovium which did not show villous hypertrophy. However, in both RA synovium and OA synovium showing villous hypertrophy and a chronic inflammatory cell infiltrate, numerous lymphatic vessels were seen in all zones of the synovial membrane, including the sublining zone of the superficial subintima.
Conclusions: Lymphatic vessels are present in normal and arthritic synovial tissues and are more numerous and prominent where there is oedema and an increase in inflammatory cells in the subintima, particularly in RA. This may reflect increased transport of hyaluronan and leucocyte trafficking in inflamed synovial tissues.
The intestinal lymphatic system is comprised of two non-communicating lymphatic networks; one containing the lacteals draining the villi and the connecting submucosal lymphatic network, and one containing the lymphatics that drain the intestine muscular layer. These systems deliver lymph into a common network of collecting lymphatics originating near the mesenteric border. The intestinal lymphatic system serves vital functions in the regulation of tissue fluid homeostasis, immune surveillance, and the transport of nutrients, and conversely this system is affected by, and directly contributes to, disease processes within the intestine. Recent discoveries of specific lymphatic markers, factors promoting lymphangiogenesis, and factors selectively affecting the development of intestinal lymphatics hold promise for unlocking the role of lymphatics in the pathogenesis of diseases affecting the intestine and for intestinal lymphatic selective therapies. Vital to progress in understanding how the intestinal lymphatic system functions is integrating of recent advances identifying molecular pathways for lymphatic growth and remodeling with advanced imaging modalities to observe lymphatic function and dysfunction in vivo.
intestine; lymphatics; immunology; microscopy
Emerging evidence has suggested a contribution of bone marrow (BM) cells to lymphatic vessel formation; however, the exact phenotype of the cells with lymphatic endothelial progenitor cell (LEPC) function has yet to be identified. Here we investigate the identity of BM-derived LEPCs and their role in lymphatic neovascularization.
Methods and Results
Culture of BM-mononuclear cells (MNCs) in the presence of VEGFA, VEGFC and EGF resulted in expression of lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) markers. Among these cells, podoplanin+ cells were isolated by magnetic-labeled cell separation system (MACS) and characterized by FACS and immunocytochemistry. These podoplanin+ cells highly express markers for LECs, hematopoietic lineages, and stem/progenitor cells, and upon further cultivation, generate LECs. We further confirmed that podoplanin+ cells exist in small numbers in BM and peripheral blood (PB) of normal mice, but are significantly (15 fold) augmented upon lymphangiogenic stimuli such as tumor implantation. Next, to evaluate the potential of podoplanin+ cells for the formation of new lymphatic vessels in vivo, we injected culture-isolated or freshly isolated BM-derived podoplanin+ cells into wound and tumor models. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that the injected cells were incorporated into the lymphatic vasculature, displayed LEC phenotypes, and increased lymphatic vascular density in tissues, suggesting lymphvasculogenesis. Podoplanin+ cells also expressed high levels of lymphangiogenic cytokines and increased proliferation of LECs during co-culture, suggesting a lymphangiogenic or paracrine role.
Our results provide compelling evidence that BM-derived podoplanin+ cells, a previously unrecognized cell type, function as LEPCs and participate in postnatal lymphatic neovascularization through both lymphvasculogenesis and lymphangiogenesis.
Bone Marrow; Podoplanin; Lymphangiogenesis; Lymphvasculogenesis
This study was undertaken to determine the highly sensitive method for detecting tumour lymphatic vessels in all the fields of each slide (LV), lymphatic microvessel density (LMVD) and lymphatic vessel invasion (LVI) and to compare them with other prognostic parameters using immunohistochemical staining with polyclonal (PCAB) and monoclonal antibodies (MCAB) to the lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor-1 (LYVE-1), and the pan-endothelial marker factorVIII in a series of 67 human breast cancers. In all LYVE-1-stained sections, LV (some of which contained red blood cells) were frequently found localised in extralobular stroma, dermis, connective tissue stroma and adjacent to artery and vein, but were rare within the intralobular stroma or the tumour body (3/67 cases) or areas of widespread invasion. In contrast small blood vessels were observed in intra- and extralobular stroma in the factor VIII-stained sections. Quantitation of vessel numbers revealed that LYVE-1/PCAB detected a significantly larger number of LV than either H&E or LYVE-1/MCAB (P<0.0001). LYVE-1/PCAB detected LVI in 25/67 cases (37.3%) and their presence was significantly associated with both lymph node metastasis (χ2=4.698, P=0.0248) and unfavourable overall survival (OS) (P=0.0453), while not relapse- free survival (RFS) (P=0.2948). LMVD had no influence for RFS and OS (P=0.4879, P=0.1463, respectively). Our study demonstrates that immunohistochemistry with LYVE-1/PCAB is a highly sensitive method for detecting tumour LV/LVI in breast cancer and LVI is a useful prognostic indicator for lymphatic tumour dissemination.
breast cancer; lymphangiogenesis; lymphatic microvessel density; lymphatic vessel invasion; lymphatic tumour dissemination; LYVE-1
To examine the relationship between corneal lymphangiogenesis and hemangiogenesis after keratoplasty.
Nineteen human corneas were obtained from 19 patients undergoing a second corneal transplantation in Zhongshan Ophthalmic Center in 2005. Blood and lymphatic vessels in human transplanted corneas were identified by lymphatic vessel endothelial receptor (LYVE-1) and platelet endothelial cell adhesion modecule-1 (PECAM-1) immunohistochemistry, and double enzyme-histochemistry; then the association of corneal blood vessel counting (BVC) with lymphatic vessel counting (LVC) was examined.
Corneal hemangiogenesis was present in 12 cases (63%), and lymphangiogenesis occurred in 5 cases (26%) human transplanted corneas. In addition, corneal lymphangiogenesis was only present in vascularized corneas. LVC was strongly and positively correlated with BVC (r=0.725, P<0.01).
Corneal lymphangiogenesis develops after keratoplasty and strongly associates with hemangiogenesis.
cornea; keratoplasty; lymphangiogenesis; hemangiogenesis
To date, there have been no detailed studies on the lymphatic system in the primate corpus luteum (CL); early reports suggested that the presence of this “secondary circulation” in luteal tissue is species-dependant. Therefore, studies were designed to determine if (a) lymphatic vessels exist, and (b) recently discovered lymphangiogenic factors and their receptor are expressed in the macaque CL during the menstrual cycle. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) detected the lymphatic endothelial cell marker, lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor 1 (LYVE1), in some endothelial cells and vessels within the ovarian stroma and theca layer of preovulatory follicles and in the CL. Dual fluorescent IHC demonstrated that LYVE1 co-localized with another lymphatic endothelial cell marker D2-40, but a blood vascular endothelial cell marker (von Willebrand Factor, VWF) was in different cells. The numbers and staining intensity of LYVE1-positive cells in the CL appeared to increase from early to mid luteal phase, and remained elevated thereafter. RT-PCR detected cDNA fragments for mRNAs encoding VEGFC, FIGF, and their receptor FLT4 in CL. Real-time PCR analyses revealed similar patterns of VEGFC and FLT4 expression during the luteal lifespan; mRNA levels increased (p < 0.05) from early to mid luteal phase and decreased (p < 0.05) by late luteal phase. In contrast, FIGF levels were elevated initially, declined (p < 0.05) at mid luteal phase, and then increased (p < 0.05) to very late luteal phase. The data strongly suggest that lymphatic vessels are present in the primate CL, and that the VEGFC/FIGF-FLT4 system regulates lymphangiogenesis and luteal structure-function during the menstrual cycle.