Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is associated with diminished levels of serum fats caused by unknown mechanisms. We have shown that mesenteric lymphatics remodel to a more primitive state one week after small bowel resection (SBR); therefore, this study focuses on the effect of chronic lymphatic remodeling and magnitude of resection on intestinal lipid uptake and transport. C57BL6 and Prox1 creER-Rosa26LSLTdTomato (lymphatic reporter) mice underwent 50% or 75% proximal SBR or sham operations. Functional transport of lipids and fecal fat content was measured and lymphatic vasculature was compared via imaging. There was a significant reduction in functional transport of cholesterol and triglyceride after SBR with increasing loss of bowel, mirrored by a progressive increase in fecal fat content. We also describe significant morphological changes in the lymphatic vasculature in both the lamina propria and mesentery. Intestinal lymphatic drainage assay in vivo demonstrated a marked reduction of systemic absorption after resection. Intestinal lymphatic vessels significantly remodel in the setting of chronic SBS. This remodeling may account at least in part for impaired intestinal uptake and transport of fat via the compromised lymphatic architecture. We believe that these changes may contribute to the development of intestinal failure associated liver disease (IFALD), a major morbidity in patients with SBS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11527
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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