Lymphatic vessels in the development of tissue and organ rejection

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The lymphatic vascular system - amongst other tasks - is critically involved in the regulation of adaptive immune responses as it provides an important route for APC trafficking to secondary lymphatic organs. In this context, the cornea, which is the transparent and physiologically avascular "windscreen" of the eye, has served as an excellent in vivo model to study the role of the blood and lymphatic vasculature in mediating allogenic immune responses after transplantation. Especially the mouse model of high-risk corneal transplantation, where corneal avascularity is abolished by a severe inflammatory stimulus prior to keratoplasty, allows for comparison to other transplantations performed in primarily vascularized tissues and solid organs. Using this model, we recently demonstrated that especially lymphatic vessels, but not blood vessels, define the high-risk status of vascularized corneas and that anti(lymph)angiogenic treatment significantly promotes corneal allograft survival. Since evidence for lymphangiogenesis and its potential association with graft rejection is nowadays also present in solid organ transplantation, studies are currently addressing the potential benefits of anti(lymph)angiogenic treatment as a novel therapeutic concept also in solid organ grafting with promising initial results. © Springer-Verlag Wien 2014.




Hos, D., & Cursiefen, C. (2014). Lymphatic vessels in the development of tissue and organ rejection. Advances in Anatomy Embryology and Cell Biology, 214, 119–141.

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