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Dev Dyn. 2015 Mar;244(3):323-31. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.24227. Epub 2014 Dec 4.

VEGFR signaling during lymphatic vascular development: From progenitor cells to functional vessels.

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Centre for Cancer Biology, University of South Australia, and SA Pathology, Adelaide, Australia.


Lymphatic vessels are an integral component of the cardiovascular system, serving important roles in fluid homeostasis, lipid absorption, and immune cell trafficking. Defining the mechanisms by which the lymphatic vasculature is constructed and remodeled into a functional vascular network not only provides answers to fascinating biological questions, but is fundamental to understanding how lymphatic vessel growth and development goes awry in human pathologies. While long recognized as dysfunctional in lymphedema and exploited as a route of tumor metastasis, recent work has highlighted important roles for lymphatic vessels in modulating immune responses, regulating salt-sensitive hypertension and important for lung inflation at birth. Substantial progress in our understanding of the signaling pathways important for development and morphogenesis of the lymphatic vasculature has been made in recent years. Here, we review advances in our knowledge of the best characterized of these signaling pathways, that involving the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family members VEGF-C and VEGF-D, together with their receptors VEGFR2 and VEGFR3. Recent work has defined multiple levels at which signal transduction by means of this key axis is regulated; these include control of ligand processing and bioavailability, modulation of receptor activation by interacting proteins, and regulation of receptor endocytosis and trafficking.


VEGF-C; VEGF-D; VEGFR2; VEGFR3; lymphangiogenesis; signal transduction; vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)

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