Ocular Lymphatic and Glymphatic Systems: Implications for Retinal Health and Disease

Nasir Uddin, Matt Rutar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Clearance of ocular fluid and metabolic waste is a critical function of the eye in health and disease. The eye has distinct fluid outflow pathways in both the anterior and posterior segments. Although the anterior outflow pathway is well characterized, little is known about posterior outflow routes. Recent studies suggest that lymphatic and glymphatic systems play an important role in the clearance of fluid and waste products from the posterior segment of the eye. The lymphatic system is a vascular network that runs parallel to the blood circulatory system. It plays an essential role in maintenance of fluid homeostasis and immune surveillance in the body. Recent studies have reported lymphatics in the cornea (under pathological conditions), ciliary body, choroid, and optic nerve meninges. The evidence of lymphatics in optic nerve meninges is, however, limited. An alternative lymphatic system termed the glymphatic system was recently discovered in the rodent eye and brain. This system is a glial cell-based perivascular network responsible for the clearance of interstitial fluid and metabolic waste. In this review, we will discuss our current knowledge of ocular lymphatic and glymphatic systems and their role in retinal degenerative diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10139
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2022


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