Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

270 
OPEN MOUTHS OF THE LACTEALS. 
of opinion that what we call cellular tissue consists merely of lymphatic 
vessels. This, however, appears to me very doubtful. The identity 
between the cells that I have described and lymphatics is especially 
problematical in those parts in which the cells-are more particularly 
met with, and in which none of the long and regular lymphatic 
vessels occur, as is the case in the umbilical cord and cornea. From 
having compared good injections of lymphatics with other specimens 
in which the injection has not succeeded so well, and from some ex¬ 
periments of my own, I am inclined to believe that many of what 
are called the cellular lymphatic radicles are not really lymphatics, 
and that the general form in which the radicle lymphatics exist, even 
where these vessels are most numerous, is that of a close and often 
regular network. 
Do the lacteals commence by open months?—The lacteals of the 
small intestines arise partly in the villosities; but they also commence 
in the whole surface of the mucous membrane of the intestinal canal. 
When the lacteals are injected with mercury, none of the metal 
escapes from the surface of the mucous membrane. The villi also 
are not perforated at their extremity, as Lieberkühn, Cruikshank, 
Hedwig, and Bleuland, incorrectly supposed.* 
I have found that if a portion of fresh sheep’s intestine, removed 
with the mesentery, and tied at one extremity, is strongly distended 
with milk by means of a syringe, the lacteals immediately become 
filled, and the milk moves very rapidly through them; for if any of 
the lacteals are emptied by pressing onwards their contents, they are 
seen to re-fill immediately with milk from the intestine, particularly 
if the intestine is compressed at the same time. If the passage of 
the milk into the lacteals in this experiment were effected without 
any previous laceration of the mucous surface, it would be an im¬ 
portant fact. But in every case, however, in which the lacteals 
become injected by this procedure, there seems to be laceration of 
the mucous membrane at some point; for the lacteals fill suddenly; 
and, on examining afterwards the inner surface of the intestine, 
there is frequently found a spot here and there, where the mucous 
membrane has lost its integrity. Consequently I attribute no im¬ 
portance to these experiments, in reference to the question of the 
existence of openings in the extremity of the villi. I observed the 
phenomenon in no other animal than the sheep. 
It still, however, remains an undecided question whether the glo¬ 
bules of the chyle enter the lacteals already formed. The varying 
opacity of the chyle, according to the difference of the food taken, is 
the chief argument in favour of the globules being derived from the 
cavity of the intestine, and not afterwards formed in the lacteals. 
But where are the openings by which they enter these vessels?—for 
they must require larger pores than those by which all soft tissues, 
and even the walls of the capillaries, are rendered permeable to 
water and matters in solution, but which are too minute to allow the 
* See Rudolphi, Anatomisch-physiol. Abhandlungen; and Albrecht Meckel, in 
Meckel’s Archiv, t. v.
        

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