Inflammation and Lymphedema Are Exacerbated and Prolonged by Neuropilin 2 Deficiency

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Abstract

The vasculature influences the progression and resolution of tissue inflammation. Capillaries express vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors, including neuropilins (NRPs), which regulate interstitial fluid flow. NRP2, a receptor of VEGFA and semaphorin (SEMA) 3F ligands, is expressed in the vascular and lymphatic endothelia. Previous studies have demonstrated that blocking VEGF receptor 2 attenuates VEGFA-induced vascular permeability. The inhibition of NRP2 was hypothesized to decrease vascular permeability as well. Unexpectedly, massive tissue swelling and edema were observed in Nrp2−/− mice compared with wild-type littermates after delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions. Vascular permeability was twofold greater in inflamed blood vessels in Nrp2-deficient mice compared to those in Nrp2-intact littermates. The addition of exogenous SEMA3F protein inhibited vascular permeability in Balb/cJ mice, suggesting that the loss of endogenous Sema3F activity in the Nrp2-deficient mice was responsible for the enhanced vessel leakage. Functional lymphatic capillaries are necessary for draining excess fluid after inflammation; however, Nrp2-mutant mice lacked superficial lymphatic capillaries, leading to 2.5-fold greater fluid retention and severe lymphedema after inflammation. In conclusion, Nrp2 deficiency increased blood vessel permeability and decreased lymphatic vessel drainage during inflammation, highlighting the importance of the NRP2/SEMA3F pathway in the modulation of tissue swelling and resolution of postinflammatory edema.

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Mucka, P., Levonyak, N., Geretti, E., Zwaans, B. M. M., Li, X., Adini, I., … Bielenberg, D. R. (2016). Inflammation and Lymphedema Are Exacerbated and Prolonged by Neuropilin 2 Deficiency. In American Journal of Pathology (Vol. 186, pp. 2803–2812). Elsevier Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2016.07.022

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