Reconstitution of Myocardial Lymphatic Vessels After Acute Infarction of Rat Heart

Lymphology. 2012 Jun;45(2):80-6.


We investigated the regeneration of cardiac lymphatic vessels and capillaries in the infarcted myocardiac zones after acute myocardial infarction in rats. The anterior descending artery of the heart was ligated for infarction and both immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence were used to detect pathological changes of lymphatic vessels in infarcted zone (IZ), infarcted margin zone (MZ) and remote margin zone (RMZ) on days 7, 14, 21, and 28 after surgery. Dynamic variation of lymphatic vessels existed in IZ, MZ and RMZ at different stages after surgery. At day 7, lymphatic vessels and capillaries were not seen in the IZ, very thin lymphatic capillaries were obviously increased in the inner layer of the margin zone, and enlarged and increased lymphatic capillaries were found in the outer layer of margin zone. At 14 days, a few sparsely arranged lymphatic capillaries were observed in the IZ without marked changes in the MZ. At 21 days, constricted regenerating lymphatic capillaries in MZ were decreased, and lymphatic vessels exhibited sprouting towards the IZ. At 28 days, more lymphatic capillaries emerged in the IZ, and the morphology and number of lymphatic vessels and capillaries had returned to normal. There were no marked changes of lymphatic vessels and capillaries in RMZ compared to control myocardium at the 4 time points. This study demonstrates varied remodeling of lymphatic vessels and capillaries in the IZ and MZ after acute myocardial infarction, and these changes in lymphatic vessels likely play an important role for recovery of infarcted myocardiac function.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Female
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Lymphatic Vessels / cytology*
  • Lymphatic Vessels / metabolism
  • Male
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology*
  • Myocardial Infarction / prevention & control*
  • Myocardial Infarction / surgery
  • Myocardium / cytology*
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley


  • Biomarkers