he lymphatic system is crucial for the maintenance of the tissue fluid homeostasis, immune cell trafficking and the absorption of dietary lipids in the intestine (Alitalo, 2011; Oliver et al., 2020; Rockson, 2021). Therefore, failure of the lymphatic system leads to multiple diseases, including cancer, autoimmune diseases, cardiometabolic diseases, infection diseases, and more recently, neurodegenerative diseases (Oliver et al., 2020). Moreover, an impaired drainage capacity results in lymphedema, a chronic inflammatory disorder characterized by edema, chronic swelling, fat deposition and fibrotic tissue accumulation in the extremities (Rockson, 2021). Currently, no approved pharmacological treatment is available for this disorder, and interventions such as physiotherapy and compression garments, transiently reduce edema but are ineffective in preventing or reversing disease progression. Thus, there is not only an urgent need to further improve our understanding of the role of lymphatics in disease but to develop novel lymph-targeted therapies that improve the quality of life of the patients suffering from it. In this Research Topic, we present research articles about the lymphatic vasculature that provide novel insights into the impact of surgery and radiotherapy on lymphatic vasculature, the effect of doxycycline treatment in secondary lymphedema, a new cervical lymph method to assess lymphatic transport in rats; and a review article that highlights the hypoxia-regulated pathways in lymphedema.
- lymphatic vessels