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Am J Physiol. 1980 Jul;239(1):H88-95.

Active and passive mechanical characteristics of bovine mesenteric lymphatics.


Pressure-volume and pressure-radius relationships in lymphangions isolated from bovine mesenteric lymphatics were similar in pattern with those in the vein. Circumferential modulus of elasticity of the lymphatics ranged from 4.2 x 10(4) tatic walls. The contractile force increased in early stages of distension and decreased after an optimal intraluminal pressure was attained. The spontaneous activity was also affected by the rate of wall deformation. The pacemaker site of spontaneous activity seemed to be in the wall in the immediate vicinity of the inlet valve of a lymphangion. The activity propagated with a velocity of 4-5 mm/s. Ejection fraction of a lymphangion was between 45 and 65%. The endurance limit of the lymphatic valve was 68.4 +/- 7.6 cmH2O in specimens of about 3 mm in outer diameter. These findings suggested that lymphatic smooth muscle seemed to play a major role in elastic behavior of the wall and in regulation of the spontaneous activity, thereby affecting significantly passive and active lymph transport.

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