The effect of localised acute inflammation, produced by a small intestinal anastomosis on the effluent lymph of the gastrointestinal tract and on the efferent lymph of the mesenteric lymph glands has been studied in rats. There is a progressive increase in the output of lymph from the gastrointestinal tract in rats with an intact anastomosis, but a decreased output in animals with a disrupted anastomosis causing either generalised peritonitis or a localised para-anastomotic abscess. The total white cell output is increased on the second day after constructing an intact intestinal anastomosis and this increase is principally due to neutrophil polymorphonuclear leucocytes. The neutrophil polymorphonuclear leucocyte response is prolonged, but has returned to normal values at four weeks. Although the output of cells of the mononuclear phagocytic series which are esterase positive is increased it is not statistically significant. An intact anastomosis does not produce any alteration in the lymphocyte output. The neutrophil polymorphonuclear leucocyte response to an intestinal anastomosis is decreased by a factor of two and the non-lymphocytic non-specific esterase positive cell response is decreased by a factor of six by the mesenteric lymph glands which may be functioning in a 'filtering' capacity dealing with agents originating at the anastomosis and noxious to the body,
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