Investigating Effects of Fluid Shear Stress on Lymphatic Endothelial Cells

Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1846)


Recent studies using in vivo models have characterized lymph flow and demonstrated that lymph flow plays a key role in the later stages of lymphatic vascular development, including vascular remodeling, to create a hierarchical collecting vessel network and lymphatic valves (Sweet et al., J Clin Invest 125, 2995–3007, 2015). However, mechanistic insights into the response of lymphatic endothelial cells to fluid flow are difficult to obtain from in vivo studies because of the small size of lymphatic vessels and the technical challenge of lymphatic endothelial cell isolation. On the other hand, in vitro experiments can be tailored to isolate and test specific mechanotransduction pathways more cleanly than conditions in vivo. To measure in vitro the cellular response to flow, cultured primary lymphatic endothelial cells can be exposed to highly specific fluid forces like those believed to exist in vivo. Such in vitro studies have recently helped identify FOXC2 and GATA2 as important transcriptional regulators of lymphatic function during valve formation that are regulated by lymph flow dynamics. This chapter discusses the methods used to expose primary lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) to lymph fluid dynamics and the relationship of these in vitro studies to in vivo lymphatic biology.

Key words

Lymphatic endothelial cells Shear stress In vivo lymphatic imaging 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GlaxoSmithKline, Target Incubator, Exploratory DiscoveryCollegevilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Industrial EngineeringUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medicine and Division of CardiologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Department of Medicine and Cardiovascular InstituteUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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