Courtney E. Vannah
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Research poster addressing the question: Does periodontal disease affect lymphatic function? Gingival lymphatic vessels drain interstitial fluid and transport immune cells to lymph nodes but despite this, it is unknown how the lymphatic system impacts periodontal disease in humans. In light of this, studies have been observed on animals with the vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGFC), a growth factor known to be increased in periodontal patients. VEGFC is involved in lymphatic hyperplasia and lymphangiogenesis, the proliferation of lymphatic endothelial cells. This growth factor is believed to affect gingival lymphatic function in periodontitis patients. When reviewing the literature, it is evident that the VEGFC receptor is of main interest when investigating lymphatics and periodontitis. One study found that inducing the overexpression of VEGFC in mice infected with P. gingivalis resulted in lymphatic hyperplasia and reduced lymphatic flow, meaning the invasive bacteria is not being cleared out as it should. Another study found that mice lacking gingival lymphatics experienced greater bone loss in periodontitis than mice with functional lymphatic systems.
Carlisle, Kristen; Marie, Hanna; and Taylor, Haley, "The Role Of Periodontal Disease In Lymphatic Function" (2019). Dental Hygiene Student Research Posters. 8.