BMDC integrated into tumor lymphatics express vascular endothelial cadherin.
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A representative tumor section from RT2;VC mice previously reconstituted with GFP-labeled bone marrow was stained for the lymphatic marker LYVE-1 (purple), for the cell junction molecule VE-cadherin (red), and for GFP (green) and analyzed by confocal microscopy and subsequent 3D reconstitution. As indicated by arrowheads and shown magnified in insets, VE-cadherin expression, indicative for homophilic cell-cell contact, is observed between bone marrow-derived (BMDTLEC) and host-derived TLEC (HTLEC). Note the continuous VE-cadherin staining between lymphatic endothelial cells in contrast to the cell-cell contact restricted staining of blood endothelial cells depicted by arrows. DAPI was used for nuclear counterstaining (blue). The DAPI-staining cells within the lymphatic vessel represent a cluster of disseminated tumor cells. BV: blood vessel. Scale bars: 20 µm.