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In Vitro Cell Dev Biol. 1987 Mar;23(3):167-74.

Angiogenesis and the formation of lymphaticlike channels in cultures of thoracic duct.


Segments of rat thoracic duct cultured in plasma clot or in collagen gel produced microvascular and fibroblastic outgrowths. Lymphaticlike channels (LLC) with a highly attenuated endothelium, which was barely visible by light microscopy, were found in 8 out of 25 cultures (32%). Serial histologic sections revealed that the endothelium of the LLC was continuous with the intimal endothelium of the thoracic duct and was therefore of lymphatic origin. In addition to the LLC, vascular channels lined by a thick endothelium with hump-shaped, cross-sectional profiles were found in 10 cultures (40%). These channels were indistinguishable from the microvessels of blood vascular origin that formed in parallel cultures of rat aorta or periductal adipose tissue and were termed hematiclike channels (HLC). Contrary to the LLC, the HLC did not originate from the lymphatic endothelium of the thoracic duct. The frequent association of the HLC with the adventitia of the thoracic duct and with the surrounding adipose tissue suggested that they probably developed from the hematic microvessels of the periductal soft tissues.

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