Lymphatic endothelial cells derived from metastatic and non-metastatic lymph nodes of human colorectal cancer reveal phenotypic differences in culture.

PMID 26333209


Colorectal cancer is one of the most frequent causes of death in Western countries. Most patients develop metastasis traveling through the lymphatic system, and regional lymph node metastasis is considered a marker for dissemination, increased stage, and worse prognosis. Despite rapid advances in tumor biology, the processes that underpin lymphatic invasion and lymph node metastasis remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to establish an easy protocol for isolation of pure tumor lymphatic endothelial cells derived from lymph nodes to study differences compared with normal endothelial cells of uninvolved tissue from the same patients. Cells were isolated with very high purity via magnetic cell sorting and express the specific lymphatic markers Prox-1 and Lyve-1. They show differences in expression of adhesion molecules, chemokines, and growth factor secretion, and capability to form capillaries when seeded on basal membrane, thereby, revealing important differences between the two cell type. These cultures may provide a promising platform for the comparative analysis of both cell types at the molecular and biological level and to optimize treatment strategies.