Author(s): Halin C, Tobler NE, Vigl B, Brown LF, Detmar M
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Abstract Lymphangiogenesis is involved in tumor cell metastasis and plays a major role in chronic inflammatory disorders. To investigate the role of lymphangiogenesis in inflammation, we induced and maintained delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reactions in the ears of mice and then analyzed the resulting lymphangiogenesis in the inflamed tissue and draining lymph nodes (LNs) by quantitative fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) and by immunofluorescence. Long-lasting inflammation induced a significant increase in the number of lymphatic endothelial cells, not only in the inflamed ears but also in the ear-draining auricular LNs. Inflammation-induced lymphangiogenesis was potently blocked by systemic administration of a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A neutralizing antibody. Surprisingly, tissue inflammation specifically induced LN lymphangiogenesis but not LN angiogenesis. These findings were explained by analysis of both VEGF-A protein and mRNA levels, which revealed that VEGF-A was expressed at high mRNA and protein levels in inflamed ears but that expression was increased only at the protein level in activated LNs. Inflammation-induced lymphangiogenesis in LNs was independent of the presence of nodal B lymphocytes, as shown in B cell-deficient mice. Our data reveal that chronic inflammation actively induces lymphangiogenesis in LNs, which is controlled remotely, by lymphangiogenic factors produced at the site of inflammation.
This article was published in Blood
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology