Molecular and cellular mechanisms of lymphatic vascular maturation

Microvasc Res. 2014 Nov;96:16-22. doi: 10.1016/j.mvr.2014.06.002. Epub 2014 Jun 11.


Lymphatic vasculature is necessary for maintaining fluid homeostasis in vertebrates. During embryogenesis lymphatic endothelial cells originate from the veins as a homogeneous population. These cells undergo a series of changes at the morphological and molecular levels to become mature lymphatic vasculature that consists of lymphatic capillaries, collecting lymphatic vessels and valves. In this article we summarize our current knowledge about these steps and highlight some black boxes that require further clarification.

Keywords: Blood; Lymph; Lymph sac; Lymphatic capillaries; Lymphatic collecting vessels; Lymphatic endothelial cells; Platelets; Prox1; Smooth muscle cells; Valves.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Embryonic Development
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lymph / metabolism
  • Lymphangiogenesis
  • Lymphatic Vessels / pathology*
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic
  • Time Factors
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Zebrafish


  • Transcription Factors