The anatomy of fetal peripheral lymphatic vessels in the head-and-neck region: An immunohistochemical study

Kwang Ho Cho, Jin Sung Cheong, Yeon Soo Ha, Baik Hwan Cho, Gen Murakami, Yukio Katori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Using D2-40 immunohistochemistry, we assessed the distribution of peripheral lymphatic vessels (LVs) in the head-and-neck region of four midterm fetuses without nuchal edema, two of 10weeks and two of 15weeks' gestation. We observed abundant LVs in the subcutaneous layer, especially in and along the facial muscles. In the occipital region, only a few LVs were identified perforating the back muscles. The parotid and thyroid glands were surrounded by LVs, but the sublingual and submandibular glands were not. The numbers of submucosal LVs increased from 10 to 15weeks' gestation in all of the nasal, oral, pharyngeal, and laryngeal cavities, but not in the palate. The laryngeal submucosa had an extremely high density of LVs. In contrast, we found few LVs along bone and cartilage except for those of the mandible as well as along the pharyngotympanic tube, middle ear, tooth germ, and the cranial nerves and ganglia. Some of these results suggested that cerebrospinal fluid outflow to the head LVs commences after 15weeks' gestation. The subcutaneous LVs of the head appear to grow from the neck side, whereas initial submucosal LVs likely develop in situ because no communication was evident with other sites during early developmental stages. In addition, CD68-positive macrophages did not accompany the developing LVs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-111
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Anatomy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan


  • D2-40 immunohistochemistry
  • Head-and-neck
  • Human fetus
  • Peripheral lymphatic vessels


Dive into the research topics of 'The anatomy of fetal peripheral lymphatic vessels in the head-and-neck region: An immunohistochemical study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this