Abstract

Lymphatic collecting vessels and lymph nodes are inevitably embedded in adipose tissue. The physiological significance of this observation remains still not elucidated. However, obesity is characterized by impaired lymphatic function and increased vessel permeability. Inversely, lymphatic dysfunction induces obesity in mice, suggesting a significant interplay between lymphatic vessels and the adipose tissue. Therefore, understanding factors leading to lymphatic dysfunction might open new therapeutic windows to prevent obesity and associated comorbidities. The first step in this process requires a precise and detailed visualization of the lymphatic network in healthy and inflamed adipose tissue. Here, we describe a rapid, inexpensive, and efficient method that allows to label and analyze lymphatic and blood vessels. This approach takes advantage of the skin-draining brachial lymph node localization within the subcutaneous adipose tissue. The lymphatic arborization of this tissue can be revealed by injecting fluorochrome-conjugated lectins subcutaneously. Moreover, the in vivo labeling approach provides a way to evaluate lymphatic vessel density and functions. Coupled to blood vessel, adipocyte and immune cell staining, the protocol allows for high-resolution mapping of the subcutaneous adipose tissue by 3D imaging.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Issue number165
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 19 2020

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