Molecular Mechanisms in Lymphatic Function & Disease

Lymphatic vessels are traditionally considered as transporters of fluid, solutes, lipids, and cells from peripheral tissues to lymph nodes and back to the blood circulation, and their dysfunction can lead to lymphedema. However, a renaissance of lymphatic research in the last decade has not only deepened our understanding of the molecular and biomechanical mechanisms underlying lymphatic development and function, but has also enabled us to appreciate the scope of influence that lymphatic vessels wield in many other physiological and pathophysiological processes including metabolism, inflammation, immunity, and tissue repair and remodeling, among others. For example, lymphangiogenesis has been associated with nearly all acute and chronic inflammatory processes, and the last few years have brought to light completely new roles for both lymphatic endothelial cells and their drainage functions in directly modulating adaptive immunity. The potential roles of lymphatic vessels in metabolism continues to intrigue as an increasing number of collaborations have been revealed between lymphatic vessels and adipocytes, and the cross-talk between lymphatic endothelial cells and other stromal cells (particularly in lymph stasis and fibrosis) is being revealed. The importance of biomechanical forces in lymphatic development and function are being discovered. And of course, our increasing awareness yields more questions that are currently being addresses in many research labs, such as:

Does lymphangiogenesis have negative or positive consequences for resolving inflammation? Should potential therapeutic targets for chronic inflammatory diseases aim to block, or promote lymphangiogenesis?
What are the functional consequences of lymph node lymphangiogenesis and how does it affect immunity?
Are there different developmental cues for the lymphatic vasculature in different organs?
How do lymphatic endothelial cells sense and modulate their biomechanical environment?
What is the relationship between lymphatic function and autoimmunity?
How do inflammatory cells participate in lymphangiogenesis, and how do lymphatics affect leukocyte functions?
How does lymphangiogenesis affect transplant rejection?
How do lymphatic vessels contribute to metabolism?
What is the relationship between adipogenesis and lymphatic function?
Does lymphatic function or dysfunction contribute to interstitial changes like fibrosis?
Do lymphatic endothelial cells actively modulate or respond to lymph composition?
Can strategies be designed to modulate lymphatic function?
The 2014 Gordon Conference on Molecular Mechanisms in Lymphatic Function and Disease will address these questions from a variety of perspectives, bringing together an outstanding and diverse group of basic and translational scientists at the forefront of their respective fields and including younger scientists and students as well. Its format will attempt to reflect our ever-growing appreciation of how lymphatic vessels contribute to an increasing number of homeostatic and disease processes, and continue to help bridge lymphatic biology and physiology with a number of related fields from angiogenesis and tumor metastasis to adipogenesis and immunity.
+ show speakers and program
A list of preliminary session topics and speakers is currently being developed by the Conference Chair and will be available by July 2, 2013. Please check back for updates.

9 Apr - 14 Apr 2014
Lucca
Italy
meeting website