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Kulkarni R.M.,Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Research Foundation CCHRF | Kulkarni R.M.,University of Cincinnati | Herman A.,Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Research Foundation CCHRF | Ikegami M.,Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Research Foundation CCHRF | And 4 more authors.
Mechanisms of Development | Year: 2011

The pulmonary lymphatic vasculature plays a vital role in maintaining fluid homeostasis required for efficient gas exchange at capillary alveolar barriers and contributes to lung fluid clearance at birth. To further understanding of pulmonary lymphatic function at birth, lineage-tracing analysis of mouse lung was used. Lineage analysis confirmed that lymphatic endothelial cells (LEC) bud from extrapulmonary lymphatics and demonstrated that LEC migrate into developing lung along precise pathways. LEC cluster first in the primary bronchovascular region then along the secondary broncho-arterial regions and along veins. Small lymphatic vessels in distal lung develop from LEC that have migrated into lung mesenchyme from the extrapulmonary lymphatics. Finally, proximal and distal lymphatics remodel to form vessels with lumens in stereotypical locations. Loss of function analysis with lung-specific expression of a secreted form of the extracellular domain of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 (dnR3) caused significant embryonic pulmonary lymphatic hypoplasia with fourfold reduction in distal LEC. Lung-specific expression of dnR3 did not affect blood vascular development, overall lung organogenesis or lymphatic development in other organs. Neonatal mice with pulmonary lymphatic hypoplasia developed respiratory distress with significantly increased mortality. During the transition to air breathing, lymphatic hypoplasia adversely affected fetal lung fluid clearance as determined by wet/dry weight analysis and morphometric analysis of bronchovascular cuffing and mesenchymal thickening. Surfactant synthesis was unaffected. Together, these data demonstrate that lung lymphatics develop autonomously and that pulmonary lymphatic hypoplasia is detrimental to survival of the neonate due to impaired lung fluid clearance. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

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