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Role of Endogenous Regulators of Hem- And Lymphangiogenesis in Corneal Transplantation

Authors
  • Clahsen, Thomas1, 2
  • Büttner, Christian3
  • Hatami, Niloofar1
  • Reis, André3
  • Cursiefen, Claus1, 2
  • 1 (C.C.)
  • 2 Center for Molecular Medicine (CMMC), University of Cologne, 50937 Cologne, Germany
  • 3 (A.R.)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Clinical Medicine
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Feb 09, 2020
Volume
9
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/jcm9020479
PMID: 32050484
PMCID: PMC7073692
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Under normal conditions, the cornea, being the transparent “windscreen” of the eye, is free of both blood and lymphatic vessels. However, various diseases of the eye, like infections, can interfere with the balance between promoting and inhibiting factors, which leads to ingrowth of blood and lymphatic vessels. The newly formed lymphatic vessels increase the risk of graft rejection after subsequent corneal transplantation. Corneal transplantation is one of the most commonly performed transplantations worldwide, with more than 40,000 surgeries per year in Europe. To date, various anti-hem- and anti-lymphangiogenic treatment strategies have been developed specifically for the corneal vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway. Currently, however, no treatment strategies are clinically available to specifically modulate lymphangiogenesis. In this review, we will give an overview about endogenous regulators of hem- and lymphangiogenesis and discuss potential new strategies for targeting pathological lymphangiogenesis. Furthermore, we will review recently identified modulators and demonstrate that the cornea is a suitable model for the identification of novel endogenous modulators of lymphangiogenesis. The identification of novel modulators of lymphangiogenesis and a better understanding of the signaling pathways involved will contribute to the development of new therapeutic targets for the treatment of pathological lymphangiogenesis. This, in turn, will improve graft rejection, not only for the cornea.

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