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J Cell Physiol. 2009 May;219(2):430-7. doi: 10.1002/jcp.21686.

Lack of lymphatic vessel phenotype in LYVE-1/CD44 double knockout mice.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts, USA.


Lymphatic vessels play a key role in maintaining tissue-fluid homeostasis, immune surveillance and metastasis. The hyaluronan receptor, LYVE-1, is widely used as a molecular marker for adult and embryonic lymphatic endothelium, but its physiological functions have not yet been established in vivo. In agreement with a recent report, LYVE-1(-/-) mice, which are healthy and fertile, do not display any defects related to congenital abnormalities of the lymphatic system. One hypothesis for the absence of a phenotype in LYVE-1 null mice is that other hyaluronan receptors, such as CD44, may compensate for LYVE-1. To test this hypothesis, we created LYVE-1/CD44 double knockout mice with appropriate littermate controls. Lymphatic vessel structure and function, as determined by histological methods and intravital microscopy, show that LYVE-1(-/-), CD44(-/-) and LYVE-1(-/-)/CD44(-/-) mice are indistinguishable from wild-type mice under normal conditions. Furthermore, resolution of carrageenan-induced paw edema is comparable in all genotypes. However, LYVE-1(-/-)/CD44(-/-) mice exhibit increased edema formation in a carrageenan-induced paw inflammation model compared to wild-type mice, but not to LYVE(-/-) or CD44(-/-) mice. These data suggest that LYVE-1 and CD44 are not required for the formation or function of lymphatics, but do not rule out a role for LYVE-1 in inflammation.

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