Zinc effect on human lymphatic malformation cells in vitro

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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol


OBJECTIVES: Lymphatic malformations (LM) are clinically characterized by episodes of inflammatory episodes. Often, an upper respiratory illness or trauma will lead to painful swelling in the distribution of the LM. Zinc is an element involved in numerous aspects of cellular metabolism and is a common dietary supplement and cold remedy. We surmise that zinc may act as a therapeutic anti-inflammatory agent for lymphatic malformations and their cellular components. We investigate the apparent cytotoxic effect of zinc ion on lymphatic malformation cells in vitro. METHODS: Fresh surgical lymphatic malformation specimens from 10 patients were collected and processed in a laboratory. Tissues were processed and lymphatic malformation cells were isolated and grown. Immunohistochemistry and cell morphology were used to confirm LM cells. HUVEC cells were used as controls. Zinc chloride solution was added to the cells and its effect observed. RESULTS: LM cells were isolated from five of the 10 specimens. Of these, the cells of only one specimen were able to be amplified to confluence. Five specimens were contaminated. Immunohistochemical staining (CD31, D2-40, and LYVE-1) and cell morphology of our specimens were consistent with lymphatic malformation while HUVEC control cells were negative. Zinc has a cytotoxic effect on BEL isolates in vitro with no obvious effect on cell morphology or growth rate of the control HUVEC cells. When compared with the published toxic zinc concentration for most cell types in the literature (100muM total zinc in vitro), our result indicates that LM cells may have a lower tolerance to zinc (10muM total zinc in vitro). CONCLUSION: Zinc has an apparent morphological effect on lymphatic malformation cells in vitro. Compared with other cell types, LM cells have a lower tolerance to zinc. While this result looks very promising for future therapeutic use of zinc in acute lymphangitis, further studies are necessary, such as finding the IC50 of zinc for lymphatic malformation in vitro and also in vivo.

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