Lymphangiogenesis, Myeloid Cells and Inflammation

Lianping Xing; Rui-Cheng Ji


Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2008;4(5):599-613. 

In This Article

Expert Commentary and Five-year View

Recent progress has clearly demonstrated an association between lymphangiogenesis and inflammation and indicates that the functional consequence of inflammatory lymphangiogenesis in inflammation pathology is dependent on the underlying mechanisms of the individual diseases. These findings highlight the unmet needs for further investigation into lymphatics and inflammation. However, there are many open questions that need to be resolved before we can fully understand the cellular and molecular regulations of lymphatic functions and develop specific molecular therapeutic approaches. Some of these questions include:

  • What is the functional consequence of lymphangiogenesis under inflammatory conditions and does it depend on the nature of inflammation and the pathogenic role of the immune system involved?

  • Is lymphangiogenesis due to the new formation of vessels from lymphatic precursors or is it due to sprouting from existing vessels, or both?

  • During lymphangiogenesis, are lymphatic stem and precursor cells present, what is their role in inflammation and do they express myeloid cell markers?

  • Do myeloid cells affect the function or integrity of lymphaticvessels?

  • Does lymphatic drainage change during inflammation and, if so, through what mechanisms?

  • What is the contribution of LECs to inflammatory cytokines and cells?

In addition, we need to optimize existing or develop new invivo imaging technologies to visualize lymphatic flow and cell-cell interactions within the lymphatic vessels, as well as identify more potent or specific lymphatic factors. We expect that the next 5years will be very exciting for lymphatic research and we will be able to answer these important questions and provide molecular bases for using lymphatic therapy as a new way to treat inflammatory disorders.


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