Emerging roles for lymphatics in acute kidney injury: Beneficial or maleficent? Academic Article uri icon


  • Acute kidney injury, a sudden decline in renal filtration, is a surprisingly common pathology resulting from ischemic events, local or systemic infection, or drug-induced toxicity in the kidney. Unchecked, acute kidney injury can progress to renal failure and even recovered acute kidney injury patients are at an increased risk for developing future chronic kidney disease. The initial extent of inflammation, the specific immune response, and how well inflammation resolves are likely determinants in acute kidney injury-to-chronic kidney disease progression. Lymphatic vessels and their roles in fluid, solute, antigen, and immune cell transport make them likely to have a role in the acute kidney injury response. Lymphatics have proven to be an attractive target in regulating inflammation and immunomodulation in other pathologies: might these strategies be employed in acute kidney injury? Acute kidney injury studies have identified elevated levels of lymphangiogenic ligands following acute kidney injury, with an expansion of the lymphatics in several models post-injury. Manipulating the lymphatics in acute kidney injury, by augmenting or inhibiting their growth or through targeting lymphatic-immune interactions, has met with a range of positive, negative, and sometimes inconclusive results. This minireview briefly summarizes the findings of lymphatic changes and lymphatic roles in the inflammatory response in the kidney following acute kidney injury to discuss whether renal lymphatics are a beneficial, maleficent, or a passive contributor to acute kidney injury recovery.

published proceedings

  • Exp Biol Med (Maywood)

altmetric score

  • 1.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Creed, H. A., & Rutkowski, J. M.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Creed, Heidi A||Rutkowski, Joseph M

publication date

  • April 2021