Lymphatic research and biology

Arterial wall lymphangiogenesis is increased in the human iliac atherosclerotic arteries: involvement of CCR7 receptor.

PMID 25318003


Twenty-six iliac artery segments were divided in two groups: atherosclerotic (A) and nonatherosclerotic (NA). Expression of LYVE-1, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, and CCR7 receptor were studied with immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blot (WB). IHC was performed on 26 samples of iliac arteries obtained from deceased 19 organ donors. The samples were divided into an atherosclerotic group (A) [subjects with history of cardiovascular disease (hypertension, ischemic heart disease) or/and diabetes] (n=16), and a nonatherosclerotic group (NA) [subjects without any known cardiovascular diseases or cardiovascular risk factors] (n=10). WB was performed on 19 iliac artery segments obtained from two groups, based on clinical data: an atherosclerotic group (A) [patients with atherosclerosis, who underwent surgery for lower limb ischemia] (n=10), and a nonatherosclerotic group (NA) [deceased organ donors without cardiovascular diseases/risk factors (n=9)]. Expression of LYVE-1, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, and CCR-7 was increased in atherosclerotic arteries. Positive correlations between LYVE-1 and VEGF-C expression in the intima-media complex assessed by IHC: (r=0.54; p=0.005) and WB: (r=0.47; p=0.005) were found. Positive correlations between expression of CCR-7 and other markers were observed. Lymphangiogenesis is enhanced within the atherosclerotic arterial wall. Our results confirm lymphatic system activation with increased lymphangiogenesis and lymphocyte/macrophage trafficking in atherosclerosis.