Inflammation-associated lymphangiogenesis: a double-edged sword?

J Clin Invest. 2014 Mar;124(3):936-42. doi: 10.1172/JCI71607. Epub 2014 Mar 3.


Lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic vessel remodeling are complex biological processes frequently observed during inflammation. Accumulating evidence indicates that inflammation-associated lymphangiogenesis (IAL) is not merely an endpoint event, but actually a phenomenon actively involved in the pathophysiology of various inflammatory disorders. The VEGF-C/VEGFR-3 and VEGF-A/VEGF-R2 signaling pathways are two of the best-studied pathways in IAL. Methods targeting these molecules, such as prolymphangiogenic or antilymphatic treatments, were found to be beneficial in various preclinical and/or clinical studies. This Review focuses on the most recent achievements in the fields of lymphatic biology relevant to inflammatory conditions. Additionally, preclinical and clinical therapies that modulate IAL are summarized.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenic Proteins / physiology
  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Graft Rejection / immunology
  • Graft Rejection / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / physiopathology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / immunology
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / physiopathology
  • Lymphangiogenesis*
  • Respiratory System / immunology
  • Respiratory System / physiopathology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Angiogenic Proteins