The lymphatic system plays a key role in tissue fluid homeostasis, immune cell trafficking, and fat absorption. We previously reported a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC)-based lymphatic reporter mouse, where EGFP is expressed under the regulation of the Prox1 promoter. This reporter line has been widely used to conveniently visualize lymphatic vessels and other Prox1-expressing tissues such as Schlemm's canal. However, mice have a number of experimental limitations due to small body size. By comparison, laboratory rats are larger in size and more closely model the metabolic, physiological, and surgical aspects of humans. Here, we report development of a novel lymphatic reporter rat using the mouse Prox1-EGFP BAC. Despite the species mismatch, the mouse Prox1-EGFP BAC enabled a reliable expression of EGFP in Prox1-expressing cells of the transgenic rats and allowed a convenient visualization of all lymphatic vessels, including those in the central nervous system, and Schlemm's canal. To demonstrate the utility of this new reporter rat, we studied the contractile properties and valvular functions of mesenteric lymphatics, developed a surgical model for vascularized lymph node transplantation, and confirmed Prox1 expression in venous valves. Together, Prox1-EGFP rat model will contribute to the advancement of lymphatic research as a valuable experimental resource.
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