Chronic high-fat diet impairs collecting lymphatic vessel function in mice.

Blum, Katrin S; Karaman, Sinem; Proulx, Steven T; Ochsenbein, Alexandra M; Luciani, Paola; Leroux, Jean-Christophe; Wolfrum, Christian; Detmar, Michael (2014). Chronic high-fat diet impairs collecting lymphatic vessel function in mice. PLoS ONE, 9(4), e94713. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0094713

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Lymphatic vessels play an essential role in intestinal lipid uptake, and impairment of lymphatic vessel function leads to enhanced adipose tissue accumulation in patients with lymphedema and in genetic mouse models of lymphatic dysfunction. However, the effects of obesity on lymphatic function have been poorly studied. We investigated if and how adipose tissue accumulation influences lymphatic function. Using a lymphatic specific tracer, we performed in vivo near-infrared (NIR) imaging to assess the function of collecting lymphatic vessels in mice fed normal chow or high-fat diet (HFD). Histological and whole mount analyses were performed to investigate the morphological changes in initial and the collecting lymphatic vessels. HFD was associated with impaired collecting lymphatic vessel function, as evidenced by reduced frequency of contractions and diminished response to mechanostimulation. Moreover, we found a significant negative correlation between collecting lymphatic vessel function and body weight. Whole mount analyses showed an enlargement of contractile collecting lymphatic vessels of the hind limb. In K14-VEGF-C mice, HFD resulted in a reduced spreading of the tracer within dermal lymphatic vessels. These findings indicate that adipose tissue expansion due to HFD leads to a functional impairment of the lymphatic vasculature, predominantly in collecting lymphatic vessels.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Theodor Kocher Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Proulx, Steven Thomas


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Public Library of Science




Ursula Zingg-Zünd

Date Deposited:

22 Oct 2020 11:51

Last Modified:

25 Oct 2020 02:16

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PubMed ID:





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