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Front Immunol. 2019 Mar 20;10:519. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2019.00519. eCollection 2019.

Lymphatic Function in Autoimmune Diseases.

Author information

1
HSS Research Institute, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, United States.
2
Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, United States.
3
Weill Cornell Tri-Institutional MD-PhD Program, New York, NY, United States.
4
Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, United States.
5
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY, United States.

Abstract

Lymphatic vessels are critical for clearing fluid and inflammatory cells from inflamed tissues and also have roles in immune tolerance. Given the functional association of the lymphatics with the immune system, lymphatic dysfunction may contribute to the pathophysiology of rheumatic autoimmune diseases. Here we review the current understanding of the role of lymphatics in the autoimmune diseases rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, lupus, and dermatomyositis and consider the possibility that manual therapies such as massage and acupuncture may be useful in improving lymphatic function in autoimmune diseases.

KEYWORDS:

autoimmune disease; lymphatic massage; lymphatics; rheumatoid arthritis; scleroderma; systemic lupus erythematosus

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