Author(s): Gerli R, Solito R, Weber E, Aglian M
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Abstract Anchoring filaments are a characteristic feature of initial lymphatic vessels. They connect the abluminal membrane of endothelial cells to the surrounding elastic fibers. The main molecular component of anchoring filaments is fibrillin. Initial lymphatic vessels of human skin were stained with monoclonal antibodies to fibrillin, integrins alpha 2 beta 1, alpha 3 beta 1 and alpha v beta 3, vinculin, talin, beta-actin and focal adhesion kinase (FAK). A double-labeling immunofluorescence method was used to simultaneously stain fibrillin and alpha 3 beta 1 integrin or FAK. Close contiguities between integrins and anchoring filaments were observed. These results suggest that the anchoring filaments connect the extracellular matrix and the endothelial cell cytoskeleton through the transmembrane integrin and FAK molecule. The results also demonstrate the presence of focal adhesions in the wall of initial lymphatic vessels. These connections possibly enable transmission of chemical and/or mechanical stimuli from the extracellular matrix to the endothelial cells. Here, they are transformed in cytoskeleton rearrangements and intracellular signaling events, some of which may contribute to the initial formation of lymph.
This article was published in Lymphology
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology