The mammalian lymphatic vasculature has an important function in the maintenance of tissue fluid homeostasis, absorption of dietary lipids, and immune surveillance. The lymphatic vessels are also recruited by many tumors as primary routes for metastasis and mediate immune responses in inflammatory diseases, whereas dysfunction of the lymphatic drainage leads to lymphedema. The characterization of a lymphatic vasculature in zebrafish has made the advantages of this small model organism, the suitability for intravital time-lapse imaging of developmental processes and the amenability for chemical and forward genetic screens, available to lymphatic vascular research. Here we review our current understanding of embryonic lymphangiogenesis in zebrafish, its molecular and anatomical similarities to mammalian lymphatic vascular development, and the possibilities zebrafish offers to complement mouse models and cell culture assays in the lymphangiogenesis field.
|Journal||Methods in Cell Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|