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Morphological Studies of Lymphatic Labyrinths in the Rat Mesenteric Lymph Node

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To supplement and correct the morphological features of lymphatic labyrinths (LLs) in rat mesenteric lymph node, the distribution, morphology and origin of LLs, and cellular elements in LLs, particularly the organization and integrity of the wall of LLs were examined by silver impregnation, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and immunohistochemistry. LLs consisted of labyrinthine tubules and ran through not only the periphery of the deep cortical unit (DCU) but interfollicular cortex. LLs originated at the edge of the center of the DCU and of the follicle. At the site of their origin, the fibers in the wall of LL were continuous with the fibers located in the follicle and the center of DCU. The wall of LLs was a trilaminar membrane: a layer of flattened lymphatic endothelium; a layer of fibroblastic reticular cells; and amorphous substance and collagen fibers sandwiched between the above two layers. Under SEM and TEM, the whole amoeboid lymphocytes were moving through the pores in the wall of LL, which showed that lymphocytes end their journey through the paracortical cord by migrating into LLs. Immunohistochemical lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor‐1 expression was present in cells lining the LLs and intraluminal stellate cells, which may belong to the “sinus endothelial/virgultar cells.” LLs are specific channels that are different from lymphatic sinuses. LL may be regarded as a special part of lymphatic vascular system in lymph nodes. We confirm that LLs are important transport pathway of lymphocytes in lymph nodes. The structural framework of LLs facilitates the migration of lymphocytes. Anat Rec, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anatomy, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, People's Republic of China 2: Department of Pathology, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, People's Republic of China

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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