Isolation and characterisation of lymphatic endothelial cells from lung tissues affected by lymphangioleiomyomatosis

Koichi Nishino, Yasuhiro Yoshimatsu, Tomoki Muramatsu, Yasuhito Sekimoto, Keiko Mitani, Etsuko Kobayashi, Shouichi Okamoto, Hiroki Ebana, Yoshinori Okada, Masatoshi Kurihara, Kenji Suzuki, Johji Inazawa, Kazuhisa Takahashi, Tetsuro Watabe, Kuniaki Seyama

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a rare pulmonary disease characterised by the proliferation of smooth muscle-like cells (LAM cells), and an abundance of lymphatic vessels in LAM lesions. Studies reported that vascular endothelial growth factor-D (VEGF-D) secreted by LAM cells contributes to LAM-associated lymphangiogenesis, however, the precise mechanisms of lymphangiogenesis and characteristics of lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) in LAM lesions have not yet been elucidated. In this study, human primary-cultured LECs were obtained both from LAM-affected lung tissues (LAM-LECs) and normal lung tissues (control LECs) using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS). We found that LAM-LECs had significantly higher ability of proliferation and migration compared to control LECs. VEGF-D significantly promoted migration of LECs but not proliferation of LECs in vitro. cDNA microarray and FACS analysis revealed the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR)-3 and integrin α9 were elevated in LAM-LECs. Inhibition of VEGFR-3 suppressed proliferation and migration of LECs, and blockade of integrin α9 reduced VEGF-D-induced migration of LECs. Our data uncovered the distinct features of LAM-associated LECs, increased proliferation and migration, which may be due to higher expression of VEGFR-3 and integrin α9. Furthermore, we also found VEGF-D/VEGFR-3 and VEGF-D/ integrin α9 signaling play an important role in LAM-associated lymphangiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8406
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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