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The Department of Biomedicine

BBB seminar: Donna Marie Briggs Bødtkjer

The dynamic nature of human collecting lymphatic vessels

Donna Marie Briggs Bødtkjer
Department of Biomedicine and Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University, Denmark

The low pressure lymphatic system has long been considered to rely solely upon passive extrinsic forces to promote transport of lymph from tissue back to the blood circulation. The primary driving force for lymph transport is, in fact, the coordinated contractile function of collecting lymphatic vessels. Excitation-contraction coupling in collecting lymphatic vessels has been studied using animal models, however, it has been unclear how representative these findings are for human vessels. To generate a clinically-relevant profile of human lymphatic function and in a search for therapeutic targets my group investigates isolated collecting lymphatics sourced from surgical patients (obtained after informed consent from each patient prior to surgery). Functional characterisation of large and smaller human collecting lymphatic vessels (thoracic duct and intestinal lymphatics) has revealed that isolated human lymphatic vessels develop coordinated, spontaneous contractile activity that is preceded by an action potential. Multiple ion channels contribute to this electrical and contractile activity. I will provide an overview of our major findings concerning these ion channels and lymphatic vasoreactivity as well as discuss our current findings regarding metabolic regulation.


Chairperson: Helge Wiig <helge.wiig@uib.no>, Department of Biomedicine