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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 747864, 12 pages
Research Article

Isolation and Characterization of Human Lung Lymphatic Endothelial Cells

1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University Hospital of Parma, 43126 Parma, Italy
2Department of Biomedical, Biotechnological, and Translational Sciences (S.Bi.Bi.T.), University Hospital of Parma, 43126 Parma, Italy
3Cardiovascular Department, Humanitas Clinical and Research Centre, 20089 Milan, Italy
4Department of Surgical Sciences, University Hospital of Parma, 43126 Parma, Italy

Received 23 October 2014; Revised 24 December 2014; Accepted 12 January 2015

Academic Editor: Themis R. Kyriakides

Copyright © 2015 Bruno Lorusso et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Characterization of lymphatic endothelial cells from the respiratory system may be crucial to investigate the role of the lymphatic system in the normal and diseased lung. We describe a simple and inexpensive method to harvest, isolate, and expand lymphatic endothelial cells from the human lung (HL-LECs). Fifty-five samples of healthy lung selected from patients undergoing lobectomy were studied. A two-step purification tool, based on paramagnetic sorting with monoclonal antibodies to CD31 and Podoplanin, was employed to select a pure population of HL-LECs. The purity of HL-LECs was assessed by morphologic criteria, immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry, and functional assays. Interestingly, these cells retain in vitro several receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) implicated in cell survival and proliferation. HL-LECs represent a clinically relevant cellular substrate to study lymphatic biology, lymphoangiogenesis, interaction with microbial agents, wound healing, and anticancer therapy.