Genetic Lineage Tracing of Lymphatic Endothelial Cells in Mice

Methods Mol Biol. 2018;1846:37-53. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8712-2_3.


Lineage tracing allows for identification of all progeny produced by a single cell or groups of cells and can thus be used to assess developmental fate of cells. Here we focus on one of the most widely used lineage tracing approaches that utilize the Cre/loxP system for site-specific genetic recombination in studying the developmental origins of lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) in the mouse embryo. We discuss general considerations for a successful Cre/loxP based lineage tracing experiment and provide information about strains that are available for genetic lineage tracing of LECs. A protocol for lineage tracing analysis of the lymphatic vasculature by whole-mount immunofluorescence in two embryonic tissues, the skin and the mesentery, is also provided.

Keywords: Cre/loxP; Cre Reporter; Endothelial cell; Lineage tracing; Lymphatic vessel.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Line
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Genetic Linkage*
  • Genetic Testing
  • Integrases / genetics
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • Lymphatic Vessels / cytology*
  • Lymphatic Vessels / metabolism*
  • Mesentery / embryology
  • Mice
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Skin / embryology
  • Skin / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases