The effects of radiation on the contractile activity of guinea pig mesenteric lymphatics

A. M. McMahon, C. J. Carati, N. B. Piller, B. J. Gannon

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    9 Citations (Scopus)


    In order to assess the effects of irradiation on lymphatic function, the contraction frequency and maximum and minimum diameters of guinea pig mesenteric collecting lymphatic vessels were measured in viva 4 hours after 1000 rads of abdominal irradiation. The mean contraction frequency for lymphatics from irradiated guinea pigs (7.6±0.7) was significantly higher than for normals (non-irradiated) (4.7±0.7) during an initial control observation period, but there was no difference in maximum or minimum diameter between the two groups during this period. Topical application of 10-4M noradrenaline (NA) significantly increased contraction frequency in both groups; lymph vessel diameter significantly decreased after NA in irradiated, but not in normal guinea pigs. Intravenous infusion of calcium dobesilate (200 mg/kg) caused a significant increase in the contraction frequency of lymphatic vessels in both normal (to 9.4±1.5) and irradiated (to 9.8±1.2) animals, but diameter was not significantly altered. Thus, lymphatic vessels from irradiated guinea pigs were still responsive to exogenous stimuli 4 hours post-irradiation and were initially pumping more actively than those from normal guinea pigs, presumably in response to radiation-induced edema. They also exhibited a supersensitivity to the vasoconstrictive effects of NA, perhaps due to an alteration of the pacemaker or smooth muscle cells by irradiation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)193-200
    Number of pages8
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1994


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