Isolation and characterization of high endothelial cell lines derived from mouse lymph nodes

Joan M. Cook-Mills*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Two long-term cultured cell lines were established from BALB/c mouse axillary and cervical lymph nodes that exhibited a combination of functional, morphological, and phenotypic characteristics consistent only with high endothelial venule cells. Spleen lymphocytes selectively bound and migrated across the cell lines. On Matrigel, these cell lines formed tubules with lumens, a characteristic unique to endothelial cells. Morphologically the cells were 20-30 μm in diameter and exhibited contact inhibition. The cells were not myeloid in origin because they lacked sodium fluoride-inhibitable nonspecific esterase activity, myeloperoxidase activity, and F4/80 antigen. The cell line phenotypes were compared to high endothelial venule (HEV) cells in tissue sections. HEV cells in lymph node tissue sections expressed endoglin, PECAM-1, ICAM-1, VCAM-1, laminin, fibronectin, collagen IV, H2K(d), MECA 79, MECA 325, and vWF. The cell lines expressed endoglin, VCAM-1, fibronectin, and H2K(d). The cell line derived from cervical lymph nodes also expressed laminin and H2D(d). Neither cell line expressed collagen IV, IA(d), ICAM-1, ICAM-2, dendritic cell antigen, or PECAM-1. They also did not express MECA antigens or intracellular vWF, consistent with reports of many cultured endothelial cells. To further substantiate cell line identification, antiserum generated against the cell lines bound specifically to HEV cells in frozen lymph node tissue sections and to both of the lymph node-derived cell lines but not control cell lines. Thus, the lymph node derived-cell lines expressed molecules found on HEV cells in vivo and most importantly retained the functions of tubule formation, lymphocyte adhesion, and promotion of lymphocyte migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-177
Number of pages11
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


  • VCAM-1
  • endoglin
  • fibronectin
  • laminin
  • lymphocyte
  • nonspecific esterase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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