91 Scopus citations


Infiltration of lymphocytes into the thyroid gland and formation of lymph node-like structures is a hallmark of Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Here we demonstrate that lymphatic vessels are present within these infiltrates. Mice overexpressing the chemokine CCL21 in the thyroid (TGCCL21 mice) developed similar lymphoid infiltrates and lymphatic vessels. TGCCL21 mice lacking mature T and B cells (RAGTGCCL21 mice) did not have cellular infiltrates or increased number of lymphatic vessels compared with controls. Transfer of CD3 +CD4+ T cells into RAGTGCCL21 mice promoted the development of LYVE-1+podoplanin+Prox-1+ vessels in the thyroid. Genetic deletion of lymphotoxin β receptor or lymphotoxin α abrogated development of lymphatic vessels in the inflamed areas in the thyroid but did not affect development of neighboring lymphatics. These results define a model for the study of inflammatory lymphangiogenesis in the thyroid and implicate lymphotoxin β receptor signaling in this process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5026-5031
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number12
StatePublished - 20 Mar 2007


  • CCL21
  • Chemokine
  • Lymphatic vessels


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