Author(s): Mounzer RH, Svendsen OS, Baluk P, Bergman CM, Padera TP,
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Abstract Lymphotoxin-α (LTα), lymphotoxin-β (LTβ), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) are inflammatory mediators that play crucial roles in lymphoid organ development. We demonstrate here that LTα also contributes to the function of lymphatic vessels and to lymphangiogenesis during inflammation. LTα(-/-) mice exhibited reduced lymph flow velocities and increased interstitial fluid pressure. Airways of LTβ(-/-) mice infected with Mycoplasma pulmonis had significantly more lymphangiogenesis than wild type (WT) or LTα(-/-) mice, as did the skin draining immunization sites of LTβ(-/-) mice. Macrophages, B cells, and T cells, known sources of LT and TNFα, were apparent in the skin surrounding the immunization sites as were LTα, LTβ, and TNFα mRNAs. Ectopic expression of LTα led to the development of LYVE-1 and Prox1-positive lymphatic vessels within tertiary lymphoid organs (TLOs). Quantification of pancreatic lymphatic vessel density in RIPLTαLTβ(-/-) and WT mice revealed that LTα was sufficient for inducing lymphangiogenesis and that LTβ was not required for this process. Kidneys of inducible LTα transgenic mice developed lymphatic vessels before the appearance of obvious TLOs. These data indicate that LTα plays a significant role in lymphatic vessel function and in inflammation-associated lymphangiogenesis.
This article was published in Blood
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology