Lymphatic network remodeling after small bowel resection.

Affiliation

Division of Pediatric Surgery, Department of Surgery, St. Louis Children's Hospital, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

BACKGROUND : Short gut syndrome (SGS) following massive small bowel resection (SBR) is a major cause of pediatric mortality and morbidity secondary to nutritional deficiencies and the sequelae of chronic total parenteral nutrition use, including liver steatosis. Despite the importance of lymphatic vasculature in fat absorption, lymphatic response after SBR has not been studied. We hypothesize that lymphatic vessel integrity is compromised in SGS, potentially contributing to the development of impaired lipid transport leading to liver steatosis and metabolic disease.
METHODS : Mice underwent 50% proximal SBR or sham operations. Imaging of lymphatic vasculature in the lamina propria and mesentery was compared between sham and SBR Prox1 ERCre-Rosa26LSLTdTomato mice. mRNA expression levels of lymphangiogenic markers were performed in C57BL/6J mice.
RESULTS : Lymphatic vasculature was significantly altered after SBR. Mesenteric lymphatic collecting vessels developed new branching structures and lacked normal valves at branch points, while total mucosal lymphatic capillary area in the distal ileum decreased compared to both sham and intraoperative controls. Intestinal Vegfr3 expression also increased significantly in resected mice.
CONCLUSIONS : Intestinal lymphatics, in both the lamina propria and mesentery, dramatically remodel following SBR. This remodeling may affect lymphatic flow and function, potentially contributing to morbidities and nutritional deficiencies associated with SGS.

Keywords

Adaptation,Intestinal failure,Lymphatics,Remodeling,Short gut syndrome,Small bowel resection,

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