Send to

Choose Destination
Elife. 2019 Dec 6;8. pii: e48183. doi: 10.7554/eLife.48183.

Spatiotemporal dynamics and heterogeneity of renal lymphatics in mammalian development and cystic kidney disease.

Author information

Developmental Biology and Cancer Programme, UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom.
MB/PhD Programme, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University College London, London, United Kingdom.
Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, Division of Medicine, University College London, London, United Kingdom.
UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, London, United Kingdom.
Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, United States.
Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, United Kingdom.
Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, United Kingdom.


Heterogeneity of lymphatic vessels during embryogenesis is critical for organ-specific lymphatic function. Little is known about lymphatics in the developing kidney, despite their established roles in pathology of the mature organ. We performed three-dimensional imaging to characterize lymphatic vessel formation in the mammalian embryonic kidney at single-cell resolution. In mouse, we visually and quantitatively assessed the development of kidney lymphatic vessels, remodeling from a ring-like anastomosis under the nascent renal pelvis; a site of VEGF-C expression, to form a patent vascular plexus. We identified a heterogenous population of lymphatic endothelial cell clusters in mouse and human embryonic kidneys. Exogenous VEGF-C expanded the lymphatic population in explanted mouse embryonic kidneys. Finally, we characterized complex kidney lymphatic abnormalities in a genetic mouse model of polycystic kidney disease. Our study provides novel insights into the development of kidney lymphatic vasculature; a system which likely has fundamental roles in renal development, physiology and disease.


development; developmental biology; human; human biology; kidney; kidney disease; lymphatics; medicine; mouse; vessels

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for eLife Sciences Publications, Ltd Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center