ABSTRACT: Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is necessary for KS, a highly vascularized tumor predominated by endothelial-derived spindle cells that express markers of lymphatic endothelium. Following KSHV infection of TIME cells, an immortalized human dermal microvascular endothelial cell (DMVEC) line, expression of many genes specific to lymphatic endothelium, including VEGFR3, podoplanin, LYVE-1, and Prox-1, is significantly increased. Increases in VEGFR3 and podoplanin protein are also demonstrated following latent infection. Examination of cytokine secretion showed that KSHV infection significantly induces hIL-6 while strongly inhibiting secretion of IL-8, a gene product that is decreased by differentiation of blood to lymphatic endothelial cells. These studies support the hypotheses that latent KSHV infection of blood endothelial cells drives their differentiation to lymphatic endothelial cells.
Project description:Cardiac lymphatic vasculature undergoes substantial expansion in response to myocardial infarction (MI). However, there is limited information on the cellular mechanisms mediating post-MI lymphangiogenesis and accompanying fibrosis in the infarcted adult heart. Using a mouse model of permanent coronary artery ligation, we examined spatiotemporal changes in the expression of lymphendothelial and mesenchymal markers in the acutely and chronically infarcted myocardium. We found that at the time of wound granulation, a three-fold increase in the frequency of podoplanin-labeled cells occurred in the infarcted hearts compared to non-operated and sham-operated counterparts. Podoplanin immunoreactivity detected LYVE-1-positive lymphatic vessels, as well as masses of LYVE-1-negative cells dispersed between myocytes, predominantly in the vicinity of the infarcted region. Podoplanin-carrying populations displayed a mesenchymal progenitor marker PDGFR?, and intermittently expressed Prox-1, a master regulator of the lymphatic endothelial fate. At the stages of scar formation and maturation, concomitantly with the enlargement of lymphatic network in the injured myocardium, the podoplanin-rich LYVE-1-negative multicellular assemblies were apparent in the fibrotic area, aligned with extracellular matrix deposits, or located in immediate proximity to activated blood vessels with high VEGFR-2 content. Of note, these podoplanin-containing cells acquired the expression of PDGFR? or a hematoendothelial epitope CD34. Although Prox-1 labeling was abundant in the area affected by MI, the podoplanin-presenting cells were not consistently Prox-1-positive. The concordance of podoplanin with VEGFR-3 similarly varied. Thus, our data reveal previously unknown phenotypic and structural heterogeneity within the podoplanin-positive cell compartment in the infarcted heart, and suggest an alternate ability of podoplanin-presenting cardiac cells to generate lymphatic endothelium and pro-fibrotic cells, contributing to scar development.
Project description:The predominant tumor cell of Kaposi's Sarcoma (KS) is the spindle cell, a cell of endothelial origin that expresses markers of lymphatic endothelium. In culture, Kaposi's Sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) infection of blood endothelial cells drives expression of lymphatic endothelial cell specific markers, in a process that requires activation of the gp130 receptor and the JAK2/STAT3 and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways. While expression of each of the KSHV major latent genes in endothelial cells failed to increase expression of lymphatic markers, the viral homolog of human IL-6 (vIL-6) was sufficient for induction and requires the JAK2/STAT3 and PI3K/AKT pathways. Therefore, activation of gp130 and downstream signaling by vIL-6 is sufficient to drive blood to lymphatic endothelial cell differentiation. While sufficient, vIL-6 is not necessary for lymphatic reprogramming in the context of viral infection. This indicates that multiple viral genes are involved and suggests a central importance of this pathway to KSHV pathogenesis.
Project description:NFATc1 transcription factor is critical for lineage selection in T-cell differentiation, cardiac valve morphogenesis and osteoclastogenesis. We identified a role for calcineurin-NFAT signaling in lymphatic development and patterning. NFATc1 was colocalized with lymphatic markers Prox-1, VEGFR-3 and podoplanin on cardinal vein as lymphatic endothelial cells (LEC) are specified and as they segregate into lymph sacs and mature lymphatics. In NFATc1 null mice, Prox-1, VEGFR-3 and podoplanin positive endothelial cells sprouted from the cardinal vein at E11.5, but poorly coalesced into lymph sacs. NFAT activation requires the phosphatase calcineurin. Embryos treated in utero with the calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporine-A showed cytoplasmic NFATc1, diminished podoplanin and FGFR-3 expression by the lymphatics and irregular patterning of the LEC sprouts coming off the jugular lymph sac, which suggests a role for calcineurin-NFAT signaling in lymphatic patterning. In a murine model of injury-induced lymphangiogenesis, NFATc1 was expressed on the neolymphatics induced by lung-specific overexpression of VEGF-A. Mice lacking the calcineurin Abeta regulatory subunit, with diminished nuclear NFAT, failed to respond to VEGF-A with increased lymphangiogenesis. In vitro, endogenous and VEGF-A-induced VEGFR-3 and podoplanin expression by human microvascular endothelial cells was reduced by siRNA to NFATc1, to levels comparable to reductions seen with siRNA to Prox-1. In reporter assays, NFATc1 activated lymphatic specific gene promoters. These results demonstrate the role of calcineurin-NFAT pathway in lymphangiogenesis and suggest that NFATc1 is the principle NFAT involved.
Project description:Although bronchial angiogenesis has been well documented in allergic asthma, lymphangiogenesis has not been widely studied. Therefore, we evaluated changes in lung lymphatics in a rat model of allergen-induced asthma using house dust mite (Der p 1; 100 ?g/challenge). Additionally, properties of isolated lung lymphatic endothelial cells (CD45-, CD141+, LYVE-1+, Prox-1+) were studied in vitro. Three weeks after the onset of intranasal allergen exposure (twice-weekly), an increase in the number of lung lymphatic vessels was measured (34% increase) by lung morphometry. New lymphatic structures were seen predominantly in the peribronchial and periarterial interstitial space but also surrounding large airways. Isolated lymphatic endothelial cells from sensitized lungs showed enhanced proliferation (% Ki67+), chemotaxis, and tube formation (number and length) compared to lymphatic endothelial cells isolated from naive rat lungs. This hyper-proliferative lymphangiogenic phenotype was preserved through multiple cell passages (2-8). Lymphatic endothelial cells isolated from naive and HDM-sensitized rats produced similar in vitro levels of VEGF-C, VEGF-D, and VEGFR3 protein, each recognized as critical lymphangiogenic factors. Inhibition with anti-VEGFR (axitinib, 0.1 ?M) blocked proliferation and chemotaxis. Results suggest that in vivo sensitization causes fundamental changes to lymphatic endothelium, which are retained in vitro, and may relate to VEGFR downstream signaling.
Project description:The molecular basis of lymphangiogenesis remains incompletely characterized. Here, we document a novel role for the PDZ domain-containing scaffold protein synectin in lymphangiogenesis using genetic studies in zebrafish and tadpoles. In zebrafish, the thoracic duct arises from parachordal lymphangioblast cells, which in turn derive from secondary lymphangiogenic sprouts from the posterior cardinal vein. Morpholino knockdown of synectin in zebrafish impaired formation of the thoracic duct, due to selective defects in lymphangiogenic but not angiogenic sprouting. Synectin genetically interacted with Vegfr3 and neuropilin-2a in regulating lymphangiogenesis. Silencing of synectin in tadpoles caused lymphatic defects due to an underdevelopment and impaired migration of Prox-1(+) lymphatic endothelial cells. Molecular analysis further revealed that synectin regulated Sox18-induced expression of Prox-1 and vascular endothelial growth factor C-induced migration of lymphatic endothelial cells in vitro. These findings reveal a novel role for synectin in lymphatic development.
Project description:In development, lymphatic endothelial cells originate within veins and differentiate via a process requiring Prox1. Notch signaling regulates cell-fate decisions, and expression studies suggested that Jag1/Notch1 signaling functions in veins during lymphatic endothelial specification. Using an inducible lymphatic endothelial Prox1CreER(T2) driver, Notch signaling was suppressed by deleting Notch1 or expressing dominant-negative Mastermind-like in Prox1+ endothelial cells. Either loss of Notch1 or reduced Notch signaling increased Prox1+ lymphatic endothelial progenitor cell numbers in the veins, leading to incomplete separation of venous and lymphatic vessels. Notch loss of function resulted in excessive Prox1+ lymphatic cells emerging from the cardinal vein and significant lymphatic overgrowth. Moreover, loss of one allele of Notch1 in Prox1 heterozygous mice rescued embryonic lethality due to Prox1 haploinsufficiency and significantly increased Prox1+ lymphatic endothelial progenitor cell numbers. Expression of a constitutively active Notch1 protein in Prox1+ cells suppressed endothelial Prox1 from E9.75 to E13.5, resulting in misspecified lymphatic endothelial cells based upon reduced expression of podoplanin, LYVE1 and VEGFR3. Notch activation resulted in the appearance of blood endothelial cells in peripheral lymphatic vessels. Activation of Notch signaling in the venous endothelium at E10.5 did not arterialize the cardinal vein, suggesting that Notch can no longer promote arterialization in the cardinal vein during this developmental stage. We report a novel role for Notch1 in limiting the number of lymphatic endothelial cells that differentiate from the veins to assure proper lymphatic specification.
Project description:The study of lymphatic endothelial cells and lymphangiogenesis has, in the past, been hampered by the lack of lymphatic endothelial-specific markers. The recent discovery of several such markers has permitted the isolation of lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) from human skin. However, cell numbers are limited and purity is variable with the different isolation procedures. To overcome these problems, we have transfected human dermal microvascular endothelial cells (HDMVECs) with a retrovirus containing the coding region of human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT), and have produced a cell line, hTERT-HDLEC, with an extended lifespan. hTERT-HDLEC exhibit a typical cobblestone morphology when grown in culture, are contact-inhibited, and express endothelial cell-specific markers. hTERT-HDLEC also express the recognized lymphatic markers, Prox-1, LYVE-1 and podoplanin, as well as integrin alpha9, but do not express CD34. They also form tube-like structures in three-dimensional collagen gels when stimulated with vascular endothelial growth factors -A and -C. Based on these currently recognized criteria, these cells are LEC. Surprisingly, we also found that the widely studied HMEC-1 cell line expresses recognized lymphatic markers; however, these cells are also CD34-positive. In summary, the ectopic expression of hTERT increases the life span of LECs and does not affect their capacity to form tube-like structures in a collagen matrix. The production and characterization of hTERT-HDLEC will facilitate the study of the properties of lymphatic endothelium in vitro.
Project description:Bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) infiltrate into sites of neovascularization in adult tissues and mature into functional blood endothelial cells (BECs) during a process called vasculogenesis. Human marrow-derived EPCs have recently been reported to display a mixed myeloid and lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) phenotype during inflammation-induced angiogenesis; however, their role in cancer remains poorly understood. We report the in vitro differentiation of human cord blood CD133<sup>+</sup>CD34<sup>+</sup> progenitors into podoplanin<sup>+</sup> cells expressing both myeloid markers (CD11b, CD14) and the canonical LEC markers vascular endothelium growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR-3), lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor 1 (LYVE-1), and prospero homeobox 1 (PROX-1). These podoplanin<sup>+</sup> cells displayed sprouting behavior comparable to that of LECs in vitro and a dual hemangiogenic and lymphangiogenic activity in vivo in an endothelial cell sprouting assay and corneal vascularization assay, respectively. Furthermore, these cells expressed vascular endothelium growth factor (VEGF) family members A, -C, and -D. Thus, bone-marrow derived EPCs stimulate hemangiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis through their ability to differentiate into LECs and to produce angiogenic factors. Importantly, plasma from patients with breast cancer induced differentiation of CD34<sup>+</sup> cord blood progenitors into hemangiogenic and lymphangiogenic CD11b<sup>+</sup> myeloid cells, whereas plasma from healthy women did not have this effect. Consistent with these findings, circulating CD11b<sup>+</sup> cells from breast cancer patients, but not from healthy women, displayed a similar dual angiogenic activity. Taken together, our results show that marrow-derived EPCs become hemangiogenic and lymphangiogenic upon exposure to cancer plasma. These newly identified functions of bone-marrow derived EPCs are expected to influence the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.
Project description:The adult heart has been reported to have an extensive lymphatic system, yet the development of this important system during cardiogenesis is still largely unexplored. The nuclear-localized transcription factor Prox-1 identified a sheet of Prox-1-positive cells on the developing aorta and pulmonary trunk in avian and murine embryos just before septation of the four heart chambers. The cells coalesced into a branching lymphatic network that spread within the epicardium to cover the heart. These vessels eventually expressed the lymphatic markers LYVE-1, VEGFR-3, and podoplanin. Before the Prox-1-positive cells were detected in the mouse epicardium, LYVE-1, a homologue of the CD44 glycoprotein, was primarily expressed in individual epicardial cells. Similar staining patterns were observed for CD44 in avian embryos. The proximity of these LYVE-1/CD44-positive mesenchymal cells to Prox-1-positive vessels suggests that they may become incorporated into the lymphatics. Unexpectedly, we detected LYVE-1/PECAM/VEGFR-3-positive vessels within the embryonic and adult myocardium, which remained Prox-1/podoplanin-negative. Lymphatic markers were surprisingly found in adult rat and embryonic mouse epicardial cell lines, with Prox-1 also exhibiting nuclear-localized expression in primary cultures of embryonic avian epicardial cells. Our data identified three types of cells in the embryonic heart expressing lymphatic markers: (1) Prox-1-positive cells from an extracardiac source that migrate within the serosa of the outflow tract into the epicardium of the developing heart, (2) individual LYVE-1-positive cells in the epicardium that may be incorporated into the Prox-1-positive lymphatic vasculature, and (3) LYVE-1-positive cells/vessels in the myocardium that do not become Prox-1-positive even in the adult heart.
Project description:Within the vascular system, the mucin-type transmembrane glycoprotein T1alpha/podoplanin is predominantly expressed by lymphatic endothelium, and recent studies have shown that it is regulated by the lymphatic-specific homeobox gene Prox1. In this study, we examined the role of T1alpha/podoplanin in vascular development and the effects of gene disruption in mice. T1alpha/podoplanin is first expressed at around E11.0 in Prox1-positive lymphatic progenitor cells, with predominant localization in the luminal plasma membrane of lymphatic endothelial cells during later development. T1alpha/podoplanin(-/-) mice die at birth due to respiratory failure and have defects in lymphatic, but not blood vessel pattern formation. These defects are associated with diminished lymphatic transport, congenital lymphedema and dilation of lymphatic vessels. T1alpha/podoplanin is also expressed in the basal epidermis of newborn wild-type mice, but gene disruption did not alter epidermal differentiation. Studies in cultured endothelial cells indicate that T1alpha/podoplanin promotes cell adhesion, migration and tube formation, whereas small interfering RNA-mediated inhibition of T1alpha/podoplanin expression decreased lymphatic endothelial cell adhesion. These data identify T1alpha/podoplanin as a novel critical player that regulates different key aspects of lymphatic vasculature formation.