Patients with Gorham-Stout disease (GSD) have lymphatic vessels in their bones and their bones gradually disappear. Here, we report that mice that overexpress VEGF-C in bone exhibit a phenotype that resembles GSD. To drive VEGF-C expression in bone, we generated Osx-tTA;TetO-Vegfc double-transgenic mice. In contrast to Osx-tTA mice, Osx-tTA;TetO-Vegfc mice developed lymphatics in their bones. We found that inhibition of VEGFR3, but not VEGFR2, prevented the formation of bone lymphatics in Osx-tTA;TetO-Vegfc mice. Radiological and histological analysis revealed that bones from Osx-tTA;TetO-Vegfc mice were more porous and had more osteoclasts than bones from Osx-tTA mice. Importantly, we found that bone loss in Osx-tTA;TetO-Vegfc mice could be attenuated by an osteoclast inhibitor. We also discovered that the mutant phenotype of Osx-tTA;TetO-Vegfc mice could be reversed by inhibiting the expression of VEGF-C. Taken together, our results indicate that expression of VEGF-C in bone is sufficient to induce the pathologic hallmarks of GSD in mice.
Keywords: developmental biology; lymphangiogenesis; lymphatic anomalies; lymphatic diseases; mouse; stem cells.
© 2018, Hominick et al.