Lysophosphatidic Acid Stimulates Lymphangiogenesis in Human Lymphatic Endothelial Cells
Mentor:Donna Nofziger Plank, Associate Professor of Biology, Pepperdine University
Lymphangiogenesis is the process by which new lymphatic vessels sprout and grow from existing vessels whether under developmental, immunological, or cancerous conditions. Proper lymphatic vessel formation is important in working alongside normal angiogenesis in order to help regulate the body’s tissue fluid as well as aid in immunosurveillance. Various factors regulate lymphangiogenesis such as members of the vascular endothelial growth factor family (VEGF). Another factor that has recently been identified to play a role in lymphangiogenesis is the bioreactive phospholipid lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). However, the molecular mechanism by which LPA regulates lymphangiogenesis has not been well characterized. In this study, human lymphatic endothelial cells (HLECs) were treated with LPA in the presence or absence of VEGF and the late stage effects on lymphangiogenesis were examined. Preliminary evidence suggests that VEGF and LPA induces proliferation in HLECs, however there is no increase in this stimulation when both factors are added together. A Matrigel tube formation assay revealed that LPA induces an increase in cellular extensions as well as in tubule length as compared to the control.