Lymphangiogenesis in renal diseases: passive bystander or active participant?

Expert Rev Mol Med. 2014 Sep 25;16:e15. doi: 10.1017/erm.2014.18.


Lymphatic vessels (LVs) are involved in a number of physiological and pathophysiological processes such as fluid homoeostasis, immune surveillance, and resolution of inflammation and wound healing. Lymphangiogenesis, the outgrowth of existing LVs and the formation of new ones, has received increasing attention over the past decade on account of its prominence in organ physiology and pathology, which has been enabled by the development of specific tools to study lymph vessel functions. Several studies have been devoted to renal lymphatic vasculature and lymphangiogenesis in kidney diseases, such as chronic renal transplant dysfunction, primary renal fibrotic disorders, proteinuria, diabetic nephropathy and renal inflammation. This review describes the most recent findings on lymphangiogenesis, with a specific focus on renal lymphangiogenesis and its impact on renal diseases. We suggest renal lymphatics as a possible target for therapeutic interventions in renal medicine to dampen tubulointerstitial tissue remodelling and improve renal functioning.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Inflammation / physiopathology*
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Lymphangiogenesis*
  • Lymphatic Vessels / physiopathology*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Wound Healing / physiology