The lymphatic vessels can be selectively stimulated to grow in adult mice, rats and pigs by application of viral vectors expressing the lymphangiogenic factors VEGF-C or VEGF-D. Vice versa, lymphangiogenesis in various pathological settings can be inhibited by the blocking of the VEGF-C/VEGFR3 interaction using a ligand-binding soluble form of VEGFR3. Furthermore, the recently discovered plasticity of meningeal and lacteal lymphatic vessels provides novel opportunities for their manipulation in disease. Adenoviral and adeno-associated viral vectors (AAVs) provide suitable tools for establishing short- and long-term gene expression, respectively and adenoviral vectors have already been used in clinical trials. As an example, we describe here ways to manipulate the meningeal lymphatic vasculature in the adult mice via AAV-mediated gene delivery. The possibility of stimulation and inhibition of lymphangiogenesis in adult mice has enabled the analysis of the role and function of lymphatic vessels in mouse models of disease.
|Name|| Methods in Molecular Biology|