LYVE-1, a receptor molecule for hyaluronan, is expressed in the lymphatic endothelium, blood sinus endothelium, and certain macrophage lineages. The present immunohistochemical study revealed a broader distribution of LYVE-1 in vascular endothelial cells of the murine lung, adrenal gland, and heart as well as the liver and spleen. In addition, sinus reticular cells—including sinuslining cells—in the medulla of the lymph node also intensely expressed LYVE-1. Ultrastructurally, immuno-gold particles for LYVE-1 were localized on the entire length of plasma membrane in all cell types. Most of these LYVE-1-expressing cells had previously been classified as the reticuloendothelial system (RES) specialized for eliminating foreign particles. An LPS stimulation decreased the LYVE-1 expression in macrophages but elevated the expression at mRNA and protein levels in the liver and lung, major organs for the elimination of blood-born waste substances. LYVE-1-expressing endothelial cells in these organs participated in the endocytosis of exogenous particles, and the uptake ability was conspicuously enhanced by the LPS challenge. Although the expression of the degrading enzyme, hyaluronidase, was generally low in the LYVE-1-expressing cells, they were topographically associated with a dense distribution of macrophages possessing hyaluronidase activities in each tissue. These findings suggest that the LYVE-1-expressing cells might be involved in the uptake of hyaluronan and other waste products as well as foreign particles circulating in the blood and lymph while participating in the subsequent degradation in relay with adjacent macrophage populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)