Quantification of the Whole Lymph Node Vasculature Based on Tomography of the Vessel Corrosion Casts
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Lymph nodes (LN) are crucial for immune function, and comprise an important interface between the blood and lymphatic systems. Blood vessels (BV) in LN are highly specialized, featuring high endothelial venules across which most of the resident lymphocytes crossed. Previous measurements of overall lymph and BV flow rates demonstrated that fluid also crosses BV walls, and that this is important for immune function. However, the spatial distribution of the BV in LN has not been quantified to the degree necessary to analyse the distribution of transmural fluid movement. In this study, we seek to quantify the spatial localization of LNBV, and to predict fluid movement across BV walls. MicroCT imaging of murine popliteal LN showed that capillaries were responsible for approximately 75% of the BV wall surface area, and that this was mostly distributed around the periphery of the node. We then modelled blood flow through the BV to obtain spatially resolved hydrostatic pressures, which were then combined with Starling's law to predict transmural flow. Much of the total 10 nL/min transmural flow (under normal conditions) was concentrated in the periphery, corresponding closely with surface area distribution. These results provide important insights into the inner workings of LN, and provide a basis for further exploration of the role of LN flow patterns in normal and pathological functions.
author list (cited authors)
Jafarnejad, M., Ismail, A. Z., Duarte, D., Vyas, C., Ghahramani, A., Zawieja, D. C., ... Moore, J. E.