On the transendothelial passage of tumor cell from extravasal matrix into the lumen of absorbing lymphatic vessel

Microvasc Res. Jul-Sep 2006;72(1-2):74-85. doi: 10.1016/j.mvr.2006.03.005. Epub 2006 May 26.


The aim of the research is the study of ultrastructural characteristics of the absorbing lymphatic vessel and of tumor cell passage through the endothelial lymphatic wall in (a) subcutaneous xenografts of T84 colon adenocarcinoma and B16 melanoma cell lines in nude mice and (b) human colorectal cancer. It was found that the tumor-associated absorbing lymphatic (TAAL) vessel has the same ultrastructural characteristics as the absorbing lymphatic vessel in normal organs, and it is provided with an endothelial wall wholly lacking a continuous basement membrane, pores, fenestrations, and open junctions. The TAAL vessel is always missing in the studied tumor masses as far as the central stroma is concerned, whereas it is always present in the peripheral area of the tumor and in the peritumoral connective tissue. The factors of extravasal matrix that play an active role in migration process of invasive phenotype tumor (IPT) cell after its detachment from tumor mass, as well as the role of cytoplasmic protrusions (pseudopod-like) in lymphatic recognition, were considered. For the first time, this study demonstrated the transendothelial passage of IPT cell inside the TAAL vessel lumen, which takes place by means of the intraendothelial channel (approximately 1.8-2.1 mum in diameter and 6.8-7.2 microm in length). This channel is to be considered a transient morphological entity organized by TAAL vessel endothelium by means of still unidentified molecular mechanisms. Therefore, it appears to be ascertained that the intraendothelial channel represents a step forward in the knowledge of the drainage into lymphatic circulation of interstitial fluid and the answer to the lack of knowledge expressed till today by researchers concerning the modality of passage of the tumor cell through the endothelial wall of the TAAL vessel.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Diffusion
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymphatic Vessels / pathology*
  • Melanoma, Experimental
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microcirculation*
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Neoplasm Metastasis