Lymphatic pump manipulation mobilizes inflammatory mediators into lymphatic circulation

Artur Schander, H. Fred Downey, Lisa M. Hodge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Lymph stasis can result in edema and the accumulation of particulate matter, exudates, toxins and bacteria in tissue interstitial fluid, leading to inflammation, impaired immune cell trafficking, tissue hypoxia, tissue fibrosis and a variety of diseases. Previously, we demonstrated that osteopathic lymphatic pump techniques (LPTs) significantly increased thoracic and intestinal duct lymph flow. The purpose of this study was to determine if LPT would mobilize inflammatory mediators into the lymphatic circulation. Under anesthesia, thoracic or intestinal lymph of dogs was collected at resting (pre-LPT), during four minutes of LPT, and for 10 min following LPT (post-LPT), and the lymphatic concentrations of interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, interferon-g, tissue necrosis factor α, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), keratinocyte chemoattractant, superoxide dismutase (SOD) and nitrotyrosine (NT) were measured. LPT significantly increased MCP-1 concentrations in thoracic duct lymph. Further, LPT increased both thoracic and intestinal duct lymph flux of cytokines and chemokines as compared with their respective pre-LPT flux. In addition, LPT increased lymphatic flux of SOD and NT. Ten minutes following cessation of LPT, thoracic and intestinal lymph flux of cytokines, chemokines, NT and SOD were similar to pre-LPT, demonstrating that their flux was transient and a response to LPT. This re-distribution of inflammatory mediators during LPT may provide scientific rationale for the clinical use of LPT to enhance immunity and treat infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-63
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Edema
  • Immune system
  • Immunity
  • Infection
  • Inflammatory mediators
  • Lymph
  • Lymphatic pump technique
  • Mesenteric duct lymph
  • Osteopathic manipulative medicine
  • Reactive nitrogen species
  • Reactive oxygen species
  • Thoracic duct lymph


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