Lymphatic dysregulation in intestinal inflammation: New insights into inflammatory bowel disease pathomechanisms

F. Becker, P. Yi, M. Al-Kofahi, V. C. Ganta, J. Morris, J. Steven Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Alterations in the intestinal lymphatic network are well-established features of human and experimental inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Such lymphangiogenic expansion might enhance classic intestinal lymphatic transport, eliminating excess accumulations of fluid, inflammatory cells and mediators, and could therefore be interpreted as an 'adaptive' response to acute and chronic inflammatory processes. However, whether these new lymphatic vessels are functional, unregulated or immature (and what factors may promote 'maturation' of these vessels) is currently an area under intense investigation. It is still controversial whether impaired lymphatic function in IBD is a direct consequence of the intestinal inflammation, or a preceding lymphangitis-like event. Current research has uncovered novel regulatory factors as well as new roles for familiar signaling pathways, which appear to be linked to inflammation-induced lymphatic alterations. The current review summarizes mechanisms amplifying lymphatic dysregulation and remodeling in intestinal inflammation at the organ, cell and molecular levels and discusses the influence of lymphangiogenesis and intestinal lymphatic transport function as they relate to IBD pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-27
Number of pages25
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Endothelin
  • Histamine
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal lymphangiogenesis
  • Lymphatic pumping
  • Lymphatic remodeling
  • NF-κB
  • TLR
  • VEGFR-3
  • VIP


Dive into the research topics of 'Lymphatic dysregulation in intestinal inflammation: New insights into inflammatory bowel disease pathomechanisms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this