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Blood. 2004 Nov 15;104(10):3228-30. Epub 2004 Jul 22.

Visualization of lymphatic vessels through NF-kappaB activity.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC), 940 SL Young Blvd, Rm 605, Oklahoma City, OK 73104, USA.


The molecular biology of lymphatics is only rudimentary owing to the long-standing absence of specific markers, and scanty is the information regarding bladder lymphatic vessels. By using mice with a reporter gene for nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) activity (kappaB-lacZ) in combination with immunohistochemical staining with a specific lymphatic marker (LYVE-1), we show, for the first time, that NF-kappaB is constitutively active in lymphatic endothelium in the urinary bladder, uterus, intestine, heart, and airways. Tie2-lacZ mice confirmed that the structures observed in kappaB-lacZ mice were not blood vessels. In addition, acute instillation of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) into the kappaB-lacZ mouse bladder revealed the capacity of this transgenic in reporting inducible NF-kappaB activity. Our findings demonstrate an overriding constitutive NF-kappaB activity in the lymphatic system. They also provide a working model for detecting lymphatic vessels and evoke testable hypotheses regarding the role of lymphatic vessels in health and disease.

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