The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of intraocular lymphatic vessels in patients with uveal melanomas and extrascleral extension using a panel of lymphatic markers. The following immunohistochemical markers were analyzed: lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronic acid receptor-1 (LYVE-1), podoplanin (D2-40), prospero-related homeobox gene-1 (Prox-1), pan-endothelial marker cluster of differentiation 31 (CD31), and blood vessel endothelium-specific CD34. Lymphatic vessels were defined as a combination of staining of the following positive markers: LYVE-1, D2-40, Prox-1, and CD31; and no staining of the negative marker CD34. In total, 456 patients were enucleated; 16 of the 46 uveal melanomas with extrascleral extension were contained in stored paraffin tissue. Two samples of the 16 uveal melanomas showed focal positive intraocular vascular staining for LYVE-1 and co-expression of CD31 and CD34. Due to the lack of Prox-1 and D2-40, and positive expression of CD34, these cannot be classified as lymphatic vessels. In one case recruitment of an extraocular, intratumoral lymphatic vascular structure was observed in the periphery of the subconjunctival extrascleral extension. Intraocular lymphatic vessels are absent in uveal melanomas with extrascleral extension; however, we provide proof for recruitment of intratumoral lymphatics by uveal melanomas with extraocular extension from subconjunctival lymphatics that may explain the rare cases of regional lymphatic spread. A panel of antibodies is necessary to detect lymphatic vessels with high specificity.

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Keywords CD31, CD34, D2-40, Extrascleral extension, Lymphatic vessels, LYVE-1, Prox-1, Uveal melanoma
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Journal Cancers
van Beek, J.G.M, van den Bosch, Q.C.C. (Quincy C. C.), Naus, N.C, Paridaens, A.D.A, de Klein, A, Kiliç, E, & Verdijk, R.M. (2019). Absence of intraocular lymphatic vessels in uveal melanomas with extrascleral growth. Cancers, 11(2). doi:10.3390/cancers11020228