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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2013 Jul 15;305(2):H203-10. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00677.2012. Epub 2013 May 10.

Adaptation of mesenteric lymphatic vessels to prolonged changes in transmural pressure.

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  • 1Michael E. DeBakey Institute, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-4466, USA.


In vitro studies have revealed that acute increases in transmural pressure increase lymphatic vessel contractile function. However, adaptive responses to prolonged changes in transmural pressure in vivo have not been reported. Therefore, we developed a novel bovine mesenteric lymphatic partial constriction model to test the hypothesis that lymphatic vessels exposed to higher transmural pressures adapt functionally to become stronger pumps than vessels exposed to lower transmural pressures. Postnodal mesenteric lymphatic vessels were partially constricted for 3 days. On postoperative day 3, constricted vessels were isolated, and divided into upstream (UP) and downstream (DN) segment groups, and instrumented in an isolated bath. Although there were no differences between the passive diameters of the two groups, both diastolic diameter and systolic diameter were significantly larger in the UP group than in the DN group. The pump index of the UP group was also higher than that in the DN group. In conclusion, this is the first work to report how lymphatic vessels adapt to prolonged changes in transmural pressure in vivo. Our results suggest that vessel segments upstream of the constriction adapt to become both better fluid conduits and lymphatic pumps than downstream segments.


contractility; edema; lymphangion; lymphatic muscle

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