Domestic researchers completed the first precise 3D map of blood and lymphatic vessels in the nasal cavity

Hong Seon-pyo, Research Fellow “Offers the possibility of effectively activating nasal immunity against viral infections, etc.”

▲ Director Kyu-Young Koh (Photo = Provided by IBS)

[메디컬투데이=이한희 기자] A Korean research team has completed the first precise three-dimensional map of the blood and lymphatic vessels in the nasal cavity.

The Foundation for Basic Science announced on the 22nd that Vascular Research Center Director Kyu-Young Koh (Distinguished Professor at KAIST Graduate School of Medical Science) and Research Fellow Seon-Pyo Hong’s research team completed the first three-dimensional detailed map of the blood vessels and lymphatic vessels in the nose.

This study, which will be a new milestone in nasal immunity research, such as identifying the cause of COVID-19 symptoms and improving the treatment of rhinitis, was selected as the cover paper of the international journal ‘Nature Cardiovascular Research’ and was published online on the 21st.

The nose is the sensory organ responsible for smelling and the first portal for outside air to enter the lungs. It serves to warm the outside air and increase humidity, and especially the mucous membrane of the nasal cavity performs the first immune barrier function to block external pathogens and foreign substances.

The Center for Vascular Research identified ciliated epithelial cells, which account for the majority of mucosal epithelial cells, as the primary target for early infection and proliferation of COVID-19, and revealed that the formation of mucosal immunity by intranasal vaccine administration may be an effective strategy for preventing and treating COVID-19. there is a bar

In fact, at the time, some countries, such as India, claimed that the dead Corona 19 virus was administered intranasally to form nasal immunity, protecting a large population from infection at a low cost.

In the formation of nasal immunity, the role of microvessels and lymphatic vessels is as important as the activity of immune cells. This is because immune cells migrate to the lymph nodes and serve as a pathway back to the nasal mucosa.

However, due to the complex structure of the nasal cavity, the three-dimensional structure and cellular characteristics, such as the spatial distribution and interconnection of microvessels and lymphatics, have not yet been elucidated.

The research team used an immunofluorescence staining method which allows antibodies that bind selectively to specific proteins in cells or tissues to be labeled with a fluorescent material and then react with the protein to observe its location.

This cutting-edge imaging technology is used to complete a three-dimensional micromap of microvessels and lymphatics in the nasal cavities of mice and humans, and to identify molecular and cellular features of the immune response beyond the morphological structure of the nasal cavity alongside genetic analysis one-cell succeeded.

As a result of the analysis, it was confirmed that, in addition to the general capillaries, the venous sinus vessels that circulate venous blood are distributed over a wide range in the nasal cavity. In addition, atypical lymphatic vessels with pointed ends showed a special distribution.

The end of a typical lymphatic vessel is round. The distribution of these blood and lymphatic vessels is specialized for the immune response against invading pathogens, and VCAM1 protein, which plays an important role in the migration of immune cells in the venous sinus vessels, is specifically expressed , and within the atypical lymphatic vessels, other organs More diverse immune cells were found to migrate than lymphatic vessels.

Furthermore, the research team observed changes in blood vessels in the nasal cavity using experimental animal models such as allergic rhinitis and COVID-19. Interestingly, rhinitis caused atrophy of venous sinus vessels and inflammation caused by COVID-19.

They also observed abnormal dilation of the venous sinus vessels with age. The physiological function and the immune function in the nasal cavity were found to be weakened due to various pathologies.

Research Fellow Hong said, “The results of this study suggest that effective nasal immunity against viral infections can be established by activating specialized blood vessels and lymphatic vessels in the nasal cavity.

Director Koh said, “After Corona 19, concerns about an unknown infectious disease that may occur in the future, ‘Disease X’, and interest in respiratory infections have increased.” It is important, and in particular, to understand the actions of blood vessels and lymphatics that regulate these immune responses is essential for research on the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases.”

“Despite the complex structure, we managed to complete the 3D micromap of the blood and lymphatic vessels in the nasal cavity for the first time,” he added.

Medical Today Reporter Lee Han-hee (

[저작권자ⓒ 메디컬투데이. 무단전재-재배포 금지]


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