The endometrial lymphatic vasculature: Function and dysfunction
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- Girling, J.E. & Rogers, P.A.W. Rev Endocr Metab Disord (2012) 13: 265. doi:10.1007/s11154-012-9224-6
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The endometrium has a complex and dynamic blood and lymphatic vasculature which undergoes regular cycles of growth and breakdown. While we now have a detailed picture of the endometrial blood vasculature, our understanding of the lymphatic vasculature in the endometrium is limited. Recent studies have illustrated that the endometrium contains a population of lymphatic vessels with restricted distribution in the functional layer relative to the basal layer. The mechanisms responsible for this restricted distribution and the consequences for endometrial function are not known. This review will summarise our current understanding of endometrial lymphatics, including the mechanisms regulating their growth and function. The potential contribution of lymphatic vessels and lymphangiogenic growth factors to various endometrial disorders will be discussed.