What is the biggest under investigated area of lymphatic biology?

(What is the biggest under investigated area of lymphatic biology?)

“Lymphangiogenesis occurs in many inflammatory settings.  In contrast with the well-studied regulation of lymphangiogenesis in ontogeny, little is known regarding this process in acute and chronic inflammation.” – Nancy Ruddlle, Yale University
“The biggest one I think is the role of collecting lymphatic vessels on immunity. Specifically, how the crosstalk of collecting lymphatic vessels with perilymphatic tissues and immune cell trafficking and exchange in between these tissues play a role in the immune response.” – Flavia Souza, LSU Health Sciences Center
"It’s not under investigated so much anymore – it’s an expanding area – but the direct interaction with immune cells and the ability of LECs to uptake and process antigen is still being worked out. Identifying the importance and mechanisms of these interactions has profound implications to all acquired immune processes and autoimmunity and should be in the mind of all interested in lymphatic biology.” – Joseph Rutkowski, Texas A&M University

“The most under investigated aspect of lymphatic biology is the relationship of the lymphatic system to the regulation of physiological processes and immune response. Understanding how the lymphatic systems actively participates in physiological process will help us understand its role in a variety of disease states.” – Timothy Padera, Harvard Medical School

"It is now established that the lymphatics play an active role in metastasis of several cancers, yet the molecular mechanisms defining its role in cancer cell entry, immune evasion within the lymphatic vessels and subsequent migration to lymph nodes and exit routes to other organs remains largely undefined. Improved techniques for spatiotemporal tracking of tumor cell migration through lymphatic vessels and delineation of the role of an inflammatory lymphatic microenvironment in cancer progression and metastasis would advance this grossly under investigated area." – Sanjukta Chakraborty, Texas A&M Health Sciences Center

"I really think that our work and the work of a couple of different labs have shown pretty conclusively that the immune system (through cells and cytokine, etc.) can modulate the function of the system under abnormal conditions of inflammation. However there are no studies that link an individual's immunotype (MHC haplotypes, etc.) to the propensity to develop lymphatic dysfunction. As an example only a subset of individuals that have breast cancer resections and radiation develop lymphedema. Similarly, only a subset of individuals with chronic filariasis develop lymphedema. I think that we need to start working on developing a better picture of what immune system quirks can predispose people to develop lymphatic dysfunction after insult. That will then allow us to paint a better picture of the cross regulation of the immune and lymphatic system than what we have already done." – Walter Cromer, Texas A&M Health Sciences Center


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