Lymphangiogenesis is the formation of lymphatic vessels from pre-existing lymphatic vessels[1] in a method believed to be similar to angiogenesis (blood vessel development).[2]

Anatomical terminology

Lymphangiogenesis plays an important physiological role in homeostasis, metabolism and immunity. Impaired or excessive lymphatic vessel formation has been implicated in a number of pathological conditions including neoplasm metastasis,[3] oedema, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, lymphangiomatosis and impaired wound healing.

The role of the lymphatic system in these diseases has received renewed interest largely due to the relevantly recent discovery of LEC (lymphatic endothelial cell)-specific markers such as podoplanin, LYVE-1, PROX-1, desmoplakin and VEGF-C receptor VEGFR-3.[4] These specific markers have enabled new insights into functional and molecular lymphatic biology. There are several known pro-lymphangiogenesis inducers such as VEGF-C, hyaluronic acid and ephrin-B2.

Various mechanisms have been proposed to explain VEGFC patterning during lymphangiogenesis, including formation of Turing patterns.[5][6]


  1. Michael Jeltsch; Tuomas Tammela; Kari Alitalo; Jörg Wilting (2003). "Genesis and pathogenesis of lymphatic vessels". Cell and Tissue Research. 314 (1): 69–84. doi:10.1007/s00441-003-0777-2. PMID 12942362.
  2. "Lymphatic vasculature development" (PDF). Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  3. Steven A. Stacker (1 July 2009). Lymphangiogenesis in Cancer Metastasis. Springer. pp. 27–. ISBN 978-90-481-2246-2. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  4. Jha, Sawan K.; Rauniyar, Khushbu; Jeltsch, Michael (2018). "Key molecules in lymphatic development, function, and identification". Annals of Anatomy - Anatomischer Anzeiger. 219: 25–34. doi:10.1016/j.aanat.2018.05.003. PMID 29842991.
  5. Wertheim, Kenneth Y.; Roose, Tiina (April 2017). "A Mathematical Model of Lymphangiogenesis in a Zebrafish Embryo". Bulletin of Mathematical Biology. 79 (4): 693–737. doi:10.1007/s11538-017-0248-7. ISSN 1522-9602. PMC 5501200. PMID 28233173.
  6. Roose, Tiina; Wertheim, Kenneth Y. (2019-01-03). "Can VEGFC Form Turing Patterns in the Zebrafish Embryo?". Bulletin of Mathematical Biology: 1–37. doi:10.1007/s11538-018-00560-2. ISSN 1522-9602. PMC 6397306. PMID 30607882.

Further reading

Lymphangiogenesis and disease
  • Plate, Karl H (2001). "From angiogenesis to lymphangiogenesis". Nature Medicine. 7 (2): 151–152. doi:10.1038/84579. PMID 11175837.
  • Jell, Gavin; Kerjaschki, Dontscho; Revell, Peter; Al-Saffar, Najat (2006). "Lymphangiogenesis in the bone–implant interface of orthopedic implants: Importance and consequence". Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A. 77A (1): 119–127. doi:10.1002/jbm.a.30548. PMID 16392126.
  • Ji, Rui-Cheng (2006). "Lymphatic Endothelial Cells, Lymphangiogenesis, and Extracellular Matrix". Lymphatic Research and Biology. 4 (2): 83–100. doi:10.1089/lrb.2006.4.83. PMID 16808670.

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