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).

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,[2] 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. 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.


  1. ^ Michael Jeltsch, Tuomas Tammela, Kari Alitalo, Jörg Wilting (2003). "Genesis and pathogenesis of lymphatic vessels". Cell and Tissue Research 314 (1): 69–84. 
  2. ^ Steven A. Stacker (1 July 2009). Lymphangiogenesis in Cancer Metastasis. Springer. pp. 27–. ISBN 978-90-481-2246-2. Retrieved 26 June 2010. 

Further reading

Lymphangiogenesis and disease

  • Tumor-induced lymphangiogenesis: [1]
  • Lymphangiogenesis and prosthetic joint failure: [2]
  • Lymphatic Endothelial Cells, Lymphangiogenesis, and Extracellular Matrix: [3]

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