Lymphangiogenesis promotes lens destruction and subsequent lens regeneration in the newt eyeball, and both processes can be accelerated by transplantation of dendritic cells

Dev Biol. 2006 Feb 1;290(1):118-24. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2005.11.017. Epub 2005 Dec 15.


We examined whether lymphangiogenesis is essential for the process of lens destruction and subsequent remodeling in the newt eye. Lens regeneration was induced by pricking the lens once with a needle through the cornea. The results showed that the formation of the vacuoles which was mediated by lysosomes occurred in the original lens on 8 days after pricking, and histolysis of the lens was induced 24 h later. At that time, new lymphatic vessels appeared in the normally avascular cornea. Immunofluorescence studies revealed the expression of VEGF receptor not only on the cells in the central cornea but also on those in the dorsal iris. Moreover, dendritic cells (DCs) migrated from the peripheral to the central regions in the cornea to engulf the remains of the lens. Next, to determine the extent to which the DCs are important for lens regeneration, we transplanted the DCs that had engulfed the remains of the lens into the eyeball of the normal animals. Interestingly, lens regeneration began in the dorsal iris of eyeballs into which the DCs were transplanted and also in those in which no DCs were transplanted. However, surgical removal of the spleen of the recipient animals prior to transplantation resulted in both a failure of both the VEGFR expression in the dorsal iris and a failure of the novel regeneration.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Cornea / cytology
  • Cornea / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology*
  • Dendritic Cells / transplantation
  • Iris / cytology
  • Iris / metabolism
  • Lens, Crystalline / physiology*
  • Lymphangiogenesis*
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Regeneration*
  • Salamandridae
  • Vacuoles / metabolism


  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor