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ISSN: 2155-9899

Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology
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Review Article

Lipid Biology and Lymphatic Function: A Dynamic Interplay with Important Physiological and Pathological Consequences

Lim Hwee Ying, Yeo Kim Pin and Angeli Veronique*
Department of Microbiology, LSI Immunology Programme, Yoon Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 117456, Singapore
Corresponding Author : Véronique Angeli
Immunology Programme Department of Microbiology
National University of Singapore, Centre for Life Sciences
#03-05, 28 Medical Drive, Singapore 117456
Tel: (65) 6516 7207
Fax: (65) 6778 2684
E-mail: [email protected]
Received June 30, 2014; Accepted September 30, 2014; Published October 10, 2014
Citation: Ying LH, Pin YK, Veronique A (2014) Lipid Biology and Lymphatic Function: A Dynamic Interplay with Important Physiological and Pathological Consequences. J Clin Cell Immunol 5:261. doi: 10.4172/2155-9899.1000261
Copyright: © 2014 Ying LH, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Abstract

Lymphatic vessels have been traditionally considered as passive transporters of lipids particularly from the intestine. However, it became apparent from emerging research that lymphatic vessel can play a more extensive role in lipid metabolism than previously realized. Moreover, recent evidence reveals that lipid deposition in the form of white adipose tissue or cholesterol as observed in obesity or hypercholesterolemia, respectively, may perturb lymphatic function. This Review summarizes the evidence supporting a bidirectional relationship between lymphatic function and the deposition of white adipose or cholesterol in peripheral tissue in the context of obesity and hypercholesterolemia. We also discuss potential mechanisms whereby excessive fat or cholesterol accumulation in tissue may account for lymphatic dysfunction. We particularly consider how phenotypic and functional changes in adipose tissue as well as in macrophages accompanying obesity and hypercholesterolemia may affect the lymphatic vasculature. In addition to their transport function, lymphatic vessels play essential roles in regulating inflammatory and adaptive immune responses. Therefore, we highlight how lymphatic dysfunction associated with hypercholesterolemia may influence immunity, inflammation and the significance to atherosclerosis. The emerging importance of the lymphatic system in lipid metabolism and immunity underscores the urgent need to find pharmacological or surgical interventions that can improve lymphatic function which are currently not available.

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