Lymphangiogenesis is an important developmental process that is critical to regulation of fluid homeostasis, immune surveillance and response as well as pathogenesis of a number of diseases, among them cancer, inflammation, and heart failure. Specification, formation, and maturation of lymphatic blood vessels involves an interplay between a series of events orchestrated by various transcription factors that determine expression of key genes involved in lymphangiogenesis. These are traditionally thought to be under control of several key growth factors including vascular growth factor-C (VEGF-C) and fibroblast growth factors (FGFs). Recent insights into VEGF and FGF signaling point to their role in control of endothelial metabolic processes such as glycolysis and fatty acid oxidation that, in turn, play a major role in regulation of lymphangiogenesis. These advances have significantly increased our understanding of lymphatic biology and opened new therapeutic vistas. Here we review our current understanding of metabolic controls in the lymphatic vasculature.
Keywords: endothelial cells; fatty acid β-oxidation; glycolysis; growth factor signaling; lymphangiogenesis; lymphatics; metabolism.
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