Public Health and Primary CareBRIEF REPORT

Effect of Abdominal Lymphatic Pump Treatment on Disease Activity in a Rat Model of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Artur Schander, DO, PhD, MS; Rudy Castillo, PhD; Dante Paredes, DO; and Lisa M. Hodge, PhD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: July 2, 2019

Accepted: August 25, 2019

Published: May 1, 2020

J Osteopath Med; 120(5): 337-344

Context: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease, are chronic relapsing inflammatory diseases that affect 1.5 million people in the United States. Lymphatic pump treatment (LPT) techniques were designed to enhance the movement of lymph and can be used to relieve symptoms in patients with IBD and other gastrointestinal disorders.

Objectives: To determine whether LPT would decrease gastrointestinal inflammation and reduce disease severity in rats with acute IBD.

Methods: On day 0, rats were randomized into control or experimental groups. Control rats received normal drinking water for days 0 to 9. On days 0 to 9, rats in the experimental groups received drinking water containing 3.5% dextran sodium sulfate (DSS). On day 3, experimental rats were randomized into 3 groups. On days 3 to 8, experimental rats received either (1) no treatment or anesthesia (DSS alone); (2) 4 minutes of LPT with anesthesia administration (DSS+LPT); or (3) 4 minutes of sham treatment (ie, light touch) and anesthesia (DSS+sham). On day 9, colons and gastrointestinal lymphoid tissue were collected. Colon weight, histologic changes, disease activity index (DAI) score, and the concentration of leukocytes were measured.

Results: At day 9, the mean (SD) DAI score in the DSS+LPT group (1.0 [0.1]) was significantly decreased (P<.01) compared with the DAI score of DSS-alone rats (1.5 [0.1]). While the DAI in DSS+LPT rats was reduced on days 8 to 9, this difference was not statistically different (P>.05) compared with DSS+sham (1.3 [0.1]). No significant differences were found in colon weight, histopathologic findings, or the concentration of gastrointestinal leukocytes between DSS alone, DSS+sham, or DSS+LPT (P>.05).

Conclusions: While DSS+LPT reduced IBD compared with DSS+sham, the decrease was not statistically significant. Considering the growing use of adjunctive treatment for the management of IBD, it is important to identify the effect of osteopathic manipulative medicine on IBD progression.

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