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ISSN: 2155-9899

Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology
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Review Article

Lymphatic Vessels in Inflammation

Martina Vranova and Cornelia Halin*
Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Corresponding Author : Cornelia Halin, Ph.D.
Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences
ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli Str. 10, HCI H413
CH-8093 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel: +41 44 633 29 62
Fax: +41 44 633 13 64
E-mail: [email protected]
Received June 02, 2014; Accepted August 21, 2014; Published August 29, 2014
Citation: Vranova M, Halin C (2014) Lymphatic Vessels in Inflammation. J Clin Cell Immunol 5:250. doi: 10.4172/2155-9899.1000250
Copyright: © 2014 Vranova M, 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 are important for tissue fluid homeostasis and for the uptake of dietary lipids in the intestine. Moreover, lymphatic vessels are intimately linked with induction of the immune response, as they transport antigen, inflammatory mediators, and leukocytes from peripheral tissues to draining lymph nodes (dLNs). Research of the last 10 years has revealed that lymphatic vessels form a highly plastic network, which rapidly adapts to inflammation in a stimulus- and tissue-specific manner. The inflammatory environment induces changes in gene expression in lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) and leads to a profound proliferative expansion of the lymphatic network in both the inflamed tissue and the dLNs. Inflammatory changes in the lymphatic network have been shown to impact fluid drainage as well as leukocyte trafficking, suggesting that lymphatic vessels play an active role in the regulation of inflammatory processes. In fact, experimentally enhancing or blocking lymphangiogenesis was shown to modulate the course of inflammatory and immune responses in various disease models. Given these exciting pre-clinical findings, lymphatic vessels and inflammatory lymphangiogenesis are emerging as potential new therapeutic targets for the treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, and for the prevention of graft rejection. In this review, we will summarize current knowledge about the inflammatory response of the lymphatic network and introduce the main molecular and cellular mediators of inflammatory lymphangiogenesis. Our review will particularly focus on how inflammation-induced changes in lymphatic vessels are thought to impact the course of inflammatory and immune responses and address the therapeutic implications of these findings.

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