Mesenteric lymph flow in adult and aged rats. Academic Article uri icon


  • The objective of study was to evaluate the aging-associated changes, contractile characteristics of mesenteric lymphatic vessels (MLV), and lymph flow in vivo in male 9- and 24-mo-old Fischer-344 rats. Lymphatic diameter, contraction amplitude, contraction frequency, and fractional pump flow, lymph flow velocity, wall shear stress, and minute active wall shear stress load were determined in MLV in vivo before and after N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester hydrochloride (L-NAME) application at 100 μM. The active pumping of the aged rat MLV in vivo was found to be severely depleted, predominantly through the aging-associated decrease in lymphatic contractile frequency. Such changes correlate with enlargement of aged MLV, which experienced much lower minute active shear stress load than adult vessels. At the same time, pumping in aged MLV in vivo may be rapidly increased back to levels of adult vessels predominantly through the increase in contraction frequency induced by nitric oxide (NO) elimination. Findings support the idea that in aged tissues surrounding the aged MLV, the additional source of some yet unlinked lymphatic contraction-stimulatory metabolites is counterbalanced or blocked by NO release. The comparative analysis of the control data obtained from experiments with both adult and aged MLV in vivo and from isolated vessel-based studies clearly demonstrated that ex vivo isolated lymphatic vessels exhibit identical contractile characteristics to lymphatic vessels in vivo.

published proceedings

  • Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol

author list (cited authors)

  • Akl, T. J., Nagai, T., Coté, G. L., & Gashev, A. A.

citation count

  • 57

complete list of authors

  • Akl, Tony J||Nagai, Takashi||Coté, Gerard L||Gashev, Anatoliy A

publication date

  • November 2011