Passive pressure-diameter relationship and structural composition of rat mesenteric lymphangions. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Lymph flow depends on both the rate of lymph production by tissues and the extent of passive and active pumping. Here we aim to characterize the passive mechanical properties of a lymphangion in both mid-lymphangion and valve segments to assess regional differences along a lymphangion, as well as evaluating its structural composition. METHODS AND RESULTS: Mesenteric lymphatic vessels were isolated and cannulated in a microchamber for pressure-diameter (P-D) testing. Vessels were inflated from 0 to 20 cmH(2)O at a rate of 4 cmH(2)O/min, and vessel diameter was continuously tracked, using an inverted microscope, video camera, and custom LabVIEW program, at both mid-lymphangion and valve segments. Isolated lymphatic vessels were also pressure-fixed at 2 and 7 cmH(2)O and imaged using a nonlinear optical microscope (NLOM) to obtain collagen and elastin structural information. We observed a highly nonlinear P-D response at low pressures (3-5 cmH(2)O), which was modeled using a three-parameter constitutive equation. No significant difference in the passive P-D response was observed between mid-lymphangion and valve regions. NLOM imaging revealed an inner elastin layer and outer collagen layer at all locations. Lymphatic valve leaflets were predominantly elastin with thick axially oriented collagen bands at the insertion points. CONCLUSIONS: We observed a highly nonlinear P-D response at low pressures (3-5 cmH(2)O) and developed the first constitutive equation to describe the passive P-D response for a lymphangion. The passive P-D response did not vary among regions, in agreement with the composition of elastin and collagen in the lymphatic wall.

published proceedings

  • Lymphat Res Biol

author list (cited authors)

  • Rahbar, E., Weimer, J., Gibbs, H., Yeh, A. T., Bertram, C. D., Davis, M. J., ... Moore, J. E.

citation count

  • 29

complete list of authors

  • Rahbar, Elaheh||Weimer, Jon||Gibbs, Holly||Yeh, Alvin T||Bertram, Christopher D||Davis, Michael J||Hill, Michael A||Zawieja, David C||Moore, James E

publication date

  • December 2012