The lymphatic vascular system has been minimally explored in the liver despite its essential functions including maintenance of tissue fluid homeostasis. The discovery of specific markers for lymphatic endothelial cells has advanced the study of lymphatics by methods including imaging, cell isolation, and transgenic animal models and has resulted in rapid progress in lymphatic vascular research during the last decade. These studies have yielded concrete evidence that lymphatic vessel dysfunction plays an important role in the pathogenesis of many diseases. This article reviews the current knowledge of the structure, function, and markers of the hepatic lymphatic vascular system as well as factors associated with hepatic lymphangiogenesis and compares liver lymphatics with those in other tissues.
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