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Tatiana Ecoiffier, Maria Iolyeva, Cornelia Halin, Lu Chen; Role of IL-7 in Corneal Lymphangiogenesis. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):2088.
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Interleukin-7 (IL-7) is an immunoregulatory cytokine that have been recently identified on lymphatic endothelial cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate the in vivo effect of IL-7 on corneal lymphangiogenesis (LG, the growth of new lymphatic vessels).
Uniform slow-release IL-7 pellets were prepared by mixing IL-7 (Peprotech, Rocky Hill, NJ) or appropriate control with sucralfate and hydron (Sigma Aldrich, St. Louis, MO). A micropocket was surgically created in BALB/c mouse cornea and a pellet was implanted 1.0 mm apart from the limbal vascular arcade. Corneas were harvested after 2 weeks and stained with LYVE-1, lymphatic specific marker. Percentage LG covered area under both control and IL-7 treated conditions were evaluated using NIH Image J software.
Pellets containing IL-7 induced a 6.4 fold increase in the corneal area covered by lymphatic vessels compared to the control condition (p < 0.05).
Our data demonstrate that IL-7 is a strong stimulator of lymphangiogenesis in vivo. This study will shed some new light on our understanding of corneal lymphangiogenesis and potentially promotes the development of novel therapeutic strategies for lymphatic related diseases occurring inside and outside the eye.
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