Cardiopulmonary MedicineORIGINAL ARTICLE

Lymphatic Pump Treatment Mobilizes Bioactive Lymph That Suppresses Macrophage Activity In Vitro

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

Received: October 20, 2017

Accepted: November 14, 2017

Published: July 1, 2018

J Osteopath Med; 118(7): 455-461

Context: By promoting the recirculation of tissue fluid, the lymphatic system preserves tissue health, aids in the absorption of gastrointestinal lipids, and supports immune surveillance. Failure of the lymphatic system has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several infectious and inflammatory diseases. Thus, interventions that enhance lymphatic circulation, such as osteopathic lymphatic pump treatment (LPT), should aid in the management of these diseases.

Objectives: To determine whether thoracic duct lymph (TDL) mobilized during LPT would alter the function of macrophages in vitro.

Methods: The thoracic ducts of 6 mongrel dogs were cannulated, and TDL samples were collected before (baseline), during, and 10 minutes after LPT. Thoracic duct lymph flow was measured, and TDL samples were analyzed for protein concentration. To measure the effect of TDL on macrophage activity, RAW 264.7 macrophages were cultured for 1 hour to acclimate. After 1 hour, cell-free TDL collected at baseline, during LPT, and after TDL was added at 5% total volume per well and co-cultured with or without 500 ng per well of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) for 24 hours. As a control for the addition of 5% TDL, macrophages were cultured with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) at 5% total volume per well and co-cultured with or without 500 ng per well of LPS for 24 hours. After culture, cell-free supernatants were assayed for nitrite (NO2), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and interleukin 10 (IL-10). Macrophage viability was measured using flow cytometry.

Results: Lymphatic pump treatment significantly increased TDL flow and the flux of protein in TDL (P<.001). After culture, macrophage viability was approximately 90%. During activation with LPS, baseline TDL, TDL during LPT, and TDL after LPT significantly decreased the production of NO2, TNF-α, and IL-10 by macrophages (P<.05). However, no significant differences were found in viability or the production of NO2, TNF-α, or IL-10 between macrophages cultured with LPS plus TDL taken before, during, and after LPT (P>.05).

Conclusions: The redistribution of protective lymph during LPT may provide scientific rationale for the clinical use of LPT to reduce inflammation and manage edema.

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