Expression of the hyaluronan receptor LYVE-1 is not restricted to the lymphatic vasculature; LYVE-1 is also expressed on embryonic blood vessels

Dev Dyn. 2008 Jul;237(7):1901-9. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.21605.


Expression of the hyaluronan receptor LYVE-1 is one of few available criteria used to discriminate lymphatic vessels from blood vessels. Until now, endothelial LYVE-1 expression was reported to be restricted to lymphatic vessels and to lymph node, liver, and spleen sinuses. Here, we provide the first evidence that LYVE-1 is expressed on blood vessels of the yolk sac during mouse embryogenesis. LYVE-1 is ubiquitously expressed in the yolk sac capillary plexus at E9.5, then becomes progressively down-regulated on arterial endothelium during vascular remodelling. LYVE-1 is also expressed on intra-embryonic arterial and venous endothelium at early embryonic stages and on endothelial cells of the lung and endocardium throughout embryogenesis. These findings have important implications for the use of LYVE-1 as a specific marker of the lymphatic vasculature during embryogenesis and neo-lymphangiogenesis. Our data are also the first demonstration, to our knowledge, that the mouse yolk sac is devoid of lymphatic vessels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Vessels / embryology
  • Blood Vessels / metabolism*
  • Endocardium / cytology
  • Endocardium / embryology
  • Endocardium / metabolism
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Glycoproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung / cytology
  • Lung / embryology
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lymphatic Vessels / embryology
  • Lymphatic Vessels / metabolism*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Confocal


  • Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Xlkd1 protein, mouse