The Physiological Role of the Lung in Lymphocyte Migration
The high numbers of lymphocytes found in the lungs early after i.v. injection of labelled cells have often been interpreted as a passive filter function of the first capillary bed lymphocytes have to pass. When normal human lung tissue had been digested, large numbers of lymphocytes were recovered, which approximately amount to the same pool size as the peripheral blood pool (1). Intravascular lymphocytes have been demonstrated histologically in perfusion-fixed lungs (2). One aim of the present study was therefore to find out whether the early homing, at 30 min, of up to 40% of the i.v. injected lymphocytes (3,4,5) is a physiological phenomenon or an artifact. The homing to the lung after i.v. and after intraaortal injection of labelled lymphocytes was compared. The pool size of the pulmonary vascular system was quantitated by extracorporeal perfusion and collection of lymphocytes in the venous effluent. Similar perfusions were carried out with segments of the liver and kidney for comparison. Finally, lymphocytes homing to the lung and being released from it were characterized by surface markers. Normal young pigs were used because the migration kinetics of lymphocytes to lymphoid and non-lymphoid organs are well described in this species (5,6), and the lungs are large enough for a controlled ex vivo perfusion with a system previously used for spleen perfusion (7).
KeywordsEuropean Economic Community Circuit Perfusion Early Homing Blood Lung Migration Kinetic
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