Flow velocity in the superficial lymphatic network of the mouse tail.
The present study had two goals: 1) to establish an animal model in which a large network of the initial lymphatics of the skin can be investigated in vivo and 2) to measure effective flow velocity (defined as axial component of the flow velocity) in the lymph capillary network of the skin for the first time. A fluorescence microlymphography technique was used to stain the lymph capillaries in the superficial layer of the skin of the nude mouse tail in 10 female animals (mean age 45.8 +/- 2.4 days; mean wt 21.2 +/- 0.8 g). With the use of densitometric image analysis, effective flow velocity along the tail was measured. The network consisted of a honeycomb-like layer of hexagonally shaped meshes that could be stained in all animals. Effective lymph flow velocities were in the range of 1.4-20.4 microns/s with a mean value of 7.7 +/- 5.9 microns/s; median value was 6.2 microns/s (4.5-10.5; 25 and 75% percentiles). This new animal model allows studies of a large network of lymph capillaries in the skin and should provide new insight into the physiology and pathophysiology of the initial lymphatics.
Leu, AJ; Berk, DA; Yuan, F; Jain, RK
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