Lymphatic functionality. (a) Removal of the popliteal lymph node results in lymphatic vessel damage and immediate assessment (Nod T0) reveals that minimal 125I-BSA transport to plasma occurs (orange, n = 7). Growth factor treatment (blue, n = 8) at the time of node removal resulted in an increase in 125I-BSA accumulation levels in plasma over 2 hr in comparison to nontreated groups, nodectomy (gray, n = 8) and HAMC (green, n = 6). Growth factor treatment accumulation levels did not return to those seen in sham (red, n = 7) and intact control groups (black, n = 7). Points represent means. SEM was omitted for clarity. (b) The area under each curve was then tabulated for each individual animal using the trapezoidal rule. Following node removal, nontreated groups (nodectomy, HAMC, Nod T0) had significantly less functionality at 6 wk in comparison to the intact group. In contrast, functionality in the growth factor treatment group was similar to the intact group. Each bar represents mean ± SEM. Significance in comparison to control levels (intact limbs) was assessed by ANOVA and Dunnett's one sided t-test. *P < 0.05. BSA, bovine serum albumin.