Microangiography performed after total blood replacement with contrast material provided complete visualization of the vascular structures of the lymph node.
Starting of the 2nd day, there is capillary redistribution throughout the cortex of the lymph node. The previously rather avascular nodules dissolve, and the cortical lymphoid tissue becomes uniformly vascular. Beginning on the 2nd day and reaching its peak on the 5th day, there is a significant increase in diameter and density of the subcapsular and medullary cord capillaries. 15 days after the antigenic stimulus, the appearance of the microvasculature returns to normal.
The postcapillary venules (the microvascular structures which follow the capillaries) are widely distributed throughout. Histologically, only a fraction of these venules have a high endothelial lining (HE venules). Therefore, it is suggested that among the postcapillary venules, those with high endothelial lining should be specifically denoted. Great individual variation in the number of HE venules was observed, and no correlation with the timing of the immune response could be established.
Whether the microvascular changes described lead to cellular change or are mere expressions of it cannot definitely be stated. However, the significant hypervascularity along the intranodal lymph pathways and the diffuse, even redistribution of the capillaries and postcapillary structures could greatly facilitate the humoral and cellular exchange between the circulating blood, the circulating lymph, and the tissues of the lymph node.