NetCare Molecular Medicine Institute, Unitas Hospital, Lyttelton, Pretoria, South Africa
The lymphatic vascular system regulates tissue fluid balance and pressure, facilitates interstitial protein transport, and serves immunological functions by regulating the movement of cells between tissue interstitium and lymph nodes. Lymphatics are also responsible for absorption of fat from the gut. Given its central role in maintaining normal tissue homeostasis, it is indeed surprising that the lymphatic vascular system has until recently been very poorly characterized from a molecular point of view. The recent surge of interest in this field can be attributed principally to two factors: the discovery of growth factors that induce the formation of new lymphatic capillaries (lymphangiogenesis), and the identification of molecular markers that allow one to differentiate between blood vascular and lymphatic endothelium. This in turn has led to the establishment of techniques for the isolation of relatively pure populations of blood vascular and lymphatic endothelial cell (BEC and LEC) populations.
Was this article helpful?
This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.