Molecular biology and pathology of lymphangiogenesis

Annu Rev Pathol. 2008;3:367-97. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pathmechdis.3.121806.151515.

Abstract

The lymphatic vasculature is essential for the maintenance of tissue fluid balance, immune surveillance, and adsorption fatty acids in the gut. The lymphatic vessels are also crucially involved in the pathogenesis of diseases such as tumor metastasis, lymphedema, and various inflammatory conditions. Attempts to control or treat these diseases have drawn a lot of interest to lymphatic vascular research during the past few years. Recently, several markers specific for lymphatic endothelium and models for lymphatic vascular research have been characterized, enabling great technical progress in lymphatic vascular biology, and many critical regulators of lymphatic vessel growth have been identified. Despite these significant achievements, our understanding of the lymphatic vessel development and pathogenesis is still rather limited. Several key questions remain to be resolved, including the relative contributions of different pathways targeting lymphatic vasculature, the molecular and cellular processes of lymphatic maturation, and the detailed mechanisms of tumor metastasis via the lymphatic system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Lymphatic / cytology
  • Endothelium, Lymphatic / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Humans
  • Lymphangiogenesis / genetics*
  • Lymphatic Vessels / metabolism
  • Lymphatic Vessels / pathology*
  • Lymphedema / genetics
  • Lymphedema / metabolism
  • Lymphedema / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal
  • Molecular Biology / methods
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors / genetics
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism

Substances

  • Biomarkers
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors