Date: August.26.2013 5:31 pm
Recent studies of a well-known molecule called interleukin-7 (IL-7) have shown that it’s capable of more than one function inside the human body. Normally IL-7 is a messenger protein which makes sure there are enough T-cells in the body at any one time to help in immune defense. Now scientists have found that the IL-7 molecule also enhances the drainage of lymphatic vessels. Lymphatic vessels collect fluids that have leaked out of blood vessels and into the body tissue and then return the fluids to the bloodstream (usually blood, but it can virtually be any fluid that has leaked out of the vessel).
Studies have already been progressing and as we speak scientists are testing the IL-7 molecule on mice. This new molecule can have a large impact on lymphedema patients, who’s lymphatic vessels are unable to fully retain leaked fluids. These leaked fluids lead to swollen limbs and other parts of the body. With mice, scientists have injected a blue dye into the ear skin to demonstrate how the lymphatic vessels work. They used three types of mice: 1.) Genetically modified mice that have an overabundance of the IL-7 molecule 2.) Mice that lacked a functioning IL-7 receptor 3.) Unmodified, healthy mice. It was shown and recorded that the mice that lacked the IL- 7 receptor drained