The lymphatic system is essential for the maintenance of tissue fluid homeostasis, gastrointestinal lipid absorption, and immune trafficking. Whereas lymphatic regeneration occurs physiologically in wound healing and tissue repair, pathological lymphangiogenesis has been implicated in a number of chronic diseases such as lymphedema, atherosclerosis, and cancer. Insight into the regulatory mechanisms of lymphangiogenesis and the manner in which uncontrolled inflammation promotes lymphatic dysfunction is urgently needed to guide the development of novel therapeutics: These would be designed to reverse lymphatic dysfunction, either primary or acquired. Recent investigation has demonstrated the mechanistic role of leukotriene B4 (LTB4) in the molecular pathogenesis of lymphedema. LTB4, a product of the innate immune response, is a constituent of the eicosanoid inflammatory mediator family of molecules that promote both physiological and pathological inflammation. Here we provide an overview of lymphatic development, the pathophysiology of lymphedema, and the role of leukotrienes in lymphedema pathogenesis. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Physiology Volume 80 is February 10, 2018. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.
View details for PubMedID 29029593