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Published Online: 1 December 2017

Temporal Dynamics of the Rat Thoracic Duct Contractility in the Presence of Imposed Flow

Publication: Lymphatic Research and Biology
Volume 15, Issue Number 4


Background: The initial periods of increased flow inside lymphatic vessels demonstrate specific temporary patterns of self-tuning of lymphatic vessel contractility that are heterogeneous across regional lymphatic networks. The current literature primarily refers to the immediate and fast reactions of the lymphangions to increases in basal flow. Until now, there were no available data on how the lymphatic vessels react to comparatively longer periods of imposed flow.
Methods and Results: In this study, we measured and analyzed the contractility of the rat thoracic duct segments, isolated, cannulated, and pressurized at 3 cm H2O at no imposed flow conditions and during 4 hours of imposed flow (constant transaxial pressure gradient of 2 cm H2O). We found the development of a progressing lymphatic tonic relaxation and inhibition of the lymphatic contraction frequency over 4 hours of imposed flow. After a short initial decrease, lymphatic phasic contraction amplitude rose significantly during the first hour of imposed flow, and it demonstrated a trend to return toward control levels after 3 hours of imposed flow. As a result, the fractional pump flow (active lymph pumping per minute) of isolated thoracic duct segments reached and maintained a statistically significant decrease (from control no-flow conditions) at the end of the third hour of imposed flow.
Conclusions: Our new findings provide a better understanding of how lymphatic contractility changes during the development of prolonged periods of steady lymph flow. The latter may occur during the initial phases of development of an inflammatory-related tissue edema.

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cover image Lymphatic Research and Biology
Lymphatic Research and Biology
Volume 15Issue Number 4December 2017
Pages: 324 - 330
PubMed: 29252139


Published in print: December 2017
Published online: 1 December 2017


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Olga Yu Gasheva
Department of Medical Physiology, College of Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Temple/College Station, Texas.
Jerome P. Trzeciakowski
Department of Medical Physiology, College of Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Temple/College Station, Texas.
Anatoliy A. Gashev
Department of Medical Physiology, College of Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Temple/College Station, Texas.
David C. Zawieja
Department of Medical Physiology, College of Medicine, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, Temple/College Station, Texas.


Address correspondence to:Olga Yu. Gasheva, MDDepartment of Medical PhysiologyCollege of MedicineTexas A&M University Health Science Center702 SW H.K. Dodgen LoopTemple, TX 76504E-mail: [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

No competing financial interests exist.

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