The American journal of pathology

Lymphotoxins Promote the Progression of Human Lymphatic Malformation by Enhancing Lymphatic Endothelial Cell Proliferation.

PMID 28837798


Formation of inflammation-related tertiary lymphoid organs promotes human lymphatic malformation (LM) development. However, the role of lymphotoxins (LTs) and LT-related inducible ligand, the crucial mediators for tertiary lymphoid organ formation, is undetermined in LMs. Herein, we show that LTs and LT-related inducible ligand promote LM development by enhancing lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) proliferation via activating NF-κB pathways. The expression of LTs and their receptors was increased in LMs, especially the infected ones, when compared with normal skins. Nuclear translocation of p65, p52, and RelB in the LECs of LMs indicated the activation of classic and alternative NF-κB pathways. Pearson's correlation and cluster analysis suggested the close relationship between LEC proliferation and NF-κB activation. Moreover, in vitro data demonstrated LTs accelerated the proliferation of human dermal LECs (HdLECs) through activation of NF-κB. In addition, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) up-regulated LT receptor expression in HdLECs, leading to increased sensitivity to LTs. Suppression of LT receptors hampered LPS-enhanced HdLEC proliferation, indicating the crucial role of LT pathways in inflammatory lymphangiogenesis. Besides, evidence from the LM rat models demonstrated LTα and LPS enhanced LEC proliferation, therefore promoting LM development. Blocking LT pathways by neutralizing antibodies against LTα and lymphotoxin β receptor may decelerate the growth of the disease. In summary, our present study demonstrated activation of LT signaling pathways in LECs contributed to the progression of LMs.