Anatomy of the vertebral column lymphatic network in mice

Laurent Jacob, Ligia Boisserand, Juliette Pestel, Salli Antila, Jean-Mickael Thomas, Marie-Stéphane Aigrot, Thomas Mathivet, Seyoung Lee, Kari Alitalo, Nicolas Renier, Anne Eichmann, Jean-Leon Thomas

Jan 25, 2019

Received Date: 8th August 18

Cranial lymphatic vessels (LVs) are involved in transport of fluids, macromolecules and CNS immune responses. Little information about spinal LVs is available, because these delicate structures are embedded within vertebral tissues and difficult to visualize using traditional histology. Here we reveal an extended vertebral column LV network using three-dimensional imaging of decalcified iDISCO-clarified spine segments. Spinal LVs are metameric circuits exiting along spinal nerve roots and connecting to lymph nodes and the thoracic duct. They navigate in the epidural space and the dura mater around the spinal cord, and associate with leukocytes, peripheral dorsal root and sympathetic ganglia. Spinal LVs are VEGF-C-dependent and remodel extensively after spinal cord injury. They constitute an extension to cranial circuits for meningeal fluids, but also a route for perineural fluids and a link with peripheral immune and nervous circuits. Vertebral column LVs may be potential targets to improve the maintenance and repair of spinal tissues as well as gatekeepers of CNS immunity.

Read in full at arXiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

Nature Communications

Nature Research, Springer Nature