Lymphatics in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: new insights into an old disease

Lymphat Res Biol. 2009 Dec;7(4):197-203. doi: 10.1089/lrb.2009.0014.


The lymphatic vasculature plays a key role in tissue homeostasis and immune surveillance. There is mounting evidence of a role for the lymphatic circulation and for newly formed lymphatic vessels in the pathogenesis of lung disease. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic, progressive, debilitating lung disease. In IPF, the lung parenchyma undergoes extensive remodeling. This review focuses on the current knowledge and understanding of the pathogenesis of IPF, and recent evidence of the involvement of lymphangiogenesis in lung injury and repair and the molecular and cellular pathways leading to the development of lymphatic vasculature.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology*
  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis / therapy
  • Lymphatic System / pathology*