Length-tension characteristics of bovine tracheobronchial lymphatic smooth muscle

Authors: , , ,


Current information regarding the physiology of lymphatic smooth muscle is derived from experiments on mesenteric and thoracic duct lymph trunks. We hypothesized that tracheobronchial lymphatics share many of the same properties possessed by the mesenteric lymphatics, and examined the passive and active length-tension characteristics of the two. Fresh isolated lymph vessel rings were prepared from bovine mesenteric and tracheobronchial lymphatic collectors, mounted in organ baths, and connected to force-displacement transducers. Isometric contractions were induced by exposure to 65mM KCl-substituted perfusate after intermittent ring length changes. Active tension was calculated. Optimal vessel length was greater in tracheobronchial vessel rings, averaging 4.9 +/- 0.4mm vs 2.8 +/- 0.3mm in mesenteric rings (p < 0.001). Optimal resting tension and ATmax were similar for both truncal types, measuring 738 +/- 95mg and 2379 +/- 289mg in tracheobronchial vessel rings, and 625 +/- 108mg and 2501 +/- 320mg in mesenteric vessel rings, respectively. Stress developed at Lo (optimal length) was similar for tracheobronchial (35.4 +/- 4.3mN mm-2) and mesenteric (26 +/- 4.3mN mm-2) lymphatics (P = N.S.). The data demonstrate that tracheobronchial lymph vessels are similar to mesenteric lymph vessels in their ability to generate significant stress, and suggest that these lymphatics participate in the regulation of lymph flow.


How to Cite: Ferguson, M. , Williams, U. , Leff, A. & Mitchell, R. (1993) “Length-tension characteristics of bovine tracheobronchial lymphatic smooth muscle”, Lymphology. 26(1).