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Prominent Lymphatic Vessel Hyperplasia with Progressive Dysfunction and Distinct Immune Cell Infiltration in Lymphedema


Gousopoulos, Epameinondas; Proulx, Steven T; Scholl, Jeannette; Uecker, Maja; Detmar, Michael (2016). Prominent Lymphatic Vessel Hyperplasia with Progressive Dysfunction and Distinct Immune Cell Infiltration in Lymphedema. American Journal of Pathology, 186(8):2193-2203.

Abstract

Lymphedema is a common complication that occurs after breast cancer treatment in up to 30% of the patients undergoing surgical lymph node excision. It is associated with tissue swelling, fibrosis, increased risk of infection, and impaired wound healing. Despite the pronounced clinical manifestations of the disease, little is known about the morphological and functional characteristics of the lymphatic vasculature during the course of lymphedema progression. We used an experimental murine tail lymphedema model where sustained fluid stasis was generated on disruption of lymphatic flow, resulting in chronic edema formation with fibrosis and adipose tissue deposition. Morphological analysis of the lymphatic vessels revealed a dramatic expansion during the course of the disease, with active proliferation of lymphatic endothelial cells at the early stages of lymphedema. The lymphatic capillaries exhibited progressively impaired tracer filling and retrograde flow near the surgery site, whereas the collecting lymphatic vessels showed a gradually decreasing contraction amplitude with unchanged contraction frequency, leading to lymphatic contraction arrest at the later stages of the disease. Lymphedema onset was associated with pronounced infiltration by immune cells, predominantly Ly6G(+) and CD4(+) cells, which have been linked to impaired lymphatic vessel function.

Abstract

Lymphedema is a common complication that occurs after breast cancer treatment in up to 30% of the patients undergoing surgical lymph node excision. It is associated with tissue swelling, fibrosis, increased risk of infection, and impaired wound healing. Despite the pronounced clinical manifestations of the disease, little is known about the morphological and functional characteristics of the lymphatic vasculature during the course of lymphedema progression. We used an experimental murine tail lymphedema model where sustained fluid stasis was generated on disruption of lymphatic flow, resulting in chronic edema formation with fibrosis and adipose tissue deposition. Morphological analysis of the lymphatic vessels revealed a dramatic expansion during the course of the disease, with active proliferation of lymphatic endothelial cells at the early stages of lymphedema. The lymphatic capillaries exhibited progressively impaired tracer filling and retrograde flow near the surgery site, whereas the collecting lymphatic vessels showed a gradually decreasing contraction amplitude with unchanged contraction frequency, leading to lymphatic contraction arrest at the later stages of the disease. Lymphedema onset was associated with pronounced infiltration by immune cells, predominantly Ly6G(+) and CD4(+) cells, which have been linked to impaired lymphatic vessel function.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Reconstructive Surgery
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Pathology and Forensic Medicine
Language:English
Date:August 2016
Deposited On:04 Dec 2019 16:30
Last Modified:31 Jul 2020 03:44
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0002-9440
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2016.04.006
PubMed ID:27315777

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