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Chem Immunol Allergy. 2014;99:15-36. doi: 10.1159/000353316. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

Immune cells as a source and target of angiogenic and lymphangiogenic factors.

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Department of Translational Medical Sciences and Center for Basic and Clinical Immunology Research, University of Naples Federico II, School of Medicine, Naples, Italy.


Angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis are distinct and complex processes requiring a finely tuned balance between stimulatory and inhibitory signals. Immune and inflammatory cells can contribute to these processes by multiple mechanisms: directly by producing a broad array of angiogenic growth factors, and indirectly by secreting several cytokines, chemokines and other mediators able to coordinate the cell-cell interactions. Immune cells can stimulate or inhibit angiogenesis/lymphangiogenesis, depending on their activation status and subset specificity. We summarize recent findings reporting the expression and activity of angiogenic and lymphangiogenic factors and their receptors and coreceptors in immune cells. It is evident that modulation of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis by the innate and adaptive immune cells (mast cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, basophils, eosinophils, and some subsets of T cells) is a highly complex process not yet completely understood.

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