Distribution of lymphatic vessels in mouse thymus: Immunofluorescence analysis

Chikako Odaka, Toru Morisada, Yuichi Oike, Toshio Suda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Thymic blood and lymphatic vessels in humans and laboratory animals have been investigated in morphological studies. However, occasionally a clear distinction between blood vessels and lymphatic vessels cannot be made from morphological characteristics of the vasculature. To visualize thymic lymphatics in normal adult BALB/c mice, we used antibodies against specific markers of lymphatic endothelial cells. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 (VEGFR-3) was detected throughout the thymus, i.e., the capsule, cortex, and medulla. Most thymic lymphatics were present in capillaries of ∼20 μm in caliber. The plexuses of lymphatic capillaries were occasionally detectable. Lymphatic vessels were frequently adjacent to CD31-positive blood vessels, and some lymphatic vessels were seen in the immediate vicinity of or within the perivascular spaces around postcapillary venules. The identity of VEGFR-3-positive vessels as lymphatics was further confirmed by staining with additional markers: LYVE-1, Prox-1, neuropilin-2, and secondary lymphoid tissue chemokine (SLC). The distributions of LYVE-1 were similar to those of VEGFR-3. Most lymphatic vessels were also identified by Prox-1. Neuropilin-2 was restricted to lymphatic vessels in the thymus. The most abundant expression of SLC in the thymus was in medullar epithelial cells; SLC was also expressed in lymphatic vessels and blood vessels. Thus, lymphatic endothelium in mouse thymus was characterized by positive staining with antibodies to VEGFR-3, LYVE-1, Prox-1, neuropilin-2, or SLC, but not with an antibody to CD31. Our results suggest the presence of lymphatic capillary networks throughout the thymus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-22
Number of pages10
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Volume325
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jul

Fingerprint

Thymus
Chemokine CCL21
Lymphatic Vessels
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-3
Neuropilin-2
Thymus Gland
Fluorescent Antibody Technique
Naproxen
Blood vessels
Blood Vessels
Antibodies
Endothelial cells
Capsules
Animals
Blood
Lymphatic Endothelium
Staining and Labeling
Venules
Laboratory Animals
Endothelial Cells

Keywords

  • Blood vessels
  • Lymphatic vessels
  • Mouse (BALB/c)
  • Thymus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Distribution of lymphatic vessels in mouse thymus : Immunofluorescence analysis. / Odaka, Chikako; Morisada, Toru; Oike, Yuichi; Suda, Toshio.

In: Cell and Tissue Research, Vol. 325, No. 1, 07.2006, p. 13-22.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Odaka, Chikako ; Morisada, Toru ; Oike, Yuichi ; Suda, Toshio. / Distribution of lymphatic vessels in mouse thymus : Immunofluorescence analysis. In: Cell and Tissue Research. 2006 ; Vol. 325, No. 1. pp. 13-22.
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AB - Thymic blood and lymphatic vessels in humans and laboratory animals have been investigated in morphological studies. However, occasionally a clear distinction between blood vessels and lymphatic vessels cannot be made from morphological characteristics of the vasculature. To visualize thymic lymphatics in normal adult BALB/c mice, we used antibodies against specific markers of lymphatic endothelial cells. Expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 (VEGFR-3) was detected throughout the thymus, i.e., the capsule, cortex, and medulla. Most thymic lymphatics were present in capillaries of ∼20 μm in caliber. The plexuses of lymphatic capillaries were occasionally detectable. Lymphatic vessels were frequently adjacent to CD31-positive blood vessels, and some lymphatic vessels were seen in the immediate vicinity of or within the perivascular spaces around postcapillary venules. The identity of VEGFR-3-positive vessels as lymphatics was further confirmed by staining with additional markers: LYVE-1, Prox-1, neuropilin-2, and secondary lymphoid tissue chemokine (SLC). The distributions of LYVE-1 were similar to those of VEGFR-3. Most lymphatic vessels were also identified by Prox-1. Neuropilin-2 was restricted to lymphatic vessels in the thymus. The most abundant expression of SLC in the thymus was in medullar epithelial cells; SLC was also expressed in lymphatic vessels and blood vessels. Thus, lymphatic endothelium in mouse thymus was characterized by positive staining with antibodies to VEGFR-3, LYVE-1, Prox-1, neuropilin-2, or SLC, but not with an antibody to CD31. Our results suggest the presence of lymphatic capillary networks throughout the thymus.

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