Immunohistochemical demonstration of lymphatic vessels in human dental pulp

Yoshihiko Sawa, Shigemitsu Yoshida, Yuichi Ashikaga, Takenori Kim, Yuji Yamaoka, Masatsugu Suzuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The existence of lymphatic vessels in dental pulp has been a matter of continuing controversy because of the difficulty of discriminating them in ordinary stained tissue sections. Recently, we have succeeded in establishing a new identification method for lymphatic vessels in human frozen sections by using a commercial monoclonal antibody specific for the human thoracic duct and anti-human laminin antiserum. The present study aimed to examine the lymphatic vessels in human dental pulp using the new immunostaining method, and compared the results with those in human small intestine. The study clearly demonstrated the distribution of lymphatic vessels in human dental pulp. Large lymphatic vessels are located in the central part of the pulp and there are small lymphatic vessels in the periphery of the pulp. This suggests that lymphatic drainage of the human dental pulp starts from the periphery of the pulp and collects in the central part of the pulp. A notable difference between the small intestine and dental pulp was found in the immunoreactivity of lymphatic vessels to anti-human laminin antiserum. In small intestine, immunoreactivity was significantly weaker than that of the blood vessels, whereas in dental pulp, that of lymphatic vessels was almost the same as blood vessels, except for some lymphatic vessels showing very weak reactivity. These findings suggest that the development of the basement membrane in both the lymphatic and blood vessels of human dental pulp is not as marked as in other tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-516
Number of pages7
JournalTissue and Cell
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-human thoracic duct
  • Dental pulp
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Laminin
  • Lymphatic vessel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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