The intravenous injection of pilocarpine nitrate causes in the dog a rapid and considerable increase in the output of lymphocytes through the thoracic duct. The corresponding lymphocytosis induced by the drug in the blood of this animal is not profound, and increased cell-output with the lymph will explain a large part if not all of it.
Quickened lymph-flow and dyspnœic breathing are accessory in the production of the large cell-output with the lymph, but it is mainly dependent on some undetermined element. The evidence points to the mechanical nature of this element. It is probably to be sought in direct pressure from contraction of smooth muscle, as suggested by Harvey, but his observation that atropine prevents the appearance of a lymphocytosis after pilocarpine cannot be quoted in proof because atropine much slows the lymph-flow, and thus decreases cell-output.
These findings are in accord with the theory that makes mechanical factors responsible for rapidly appearing lymphocytosis. They show that there are more such factors than has been supposed. Especially do they indicate that the contribution of cells through the thoracic duct may be important in the production of lymphocytosis, and is not, as is often asserted, subsidiary to direct migration into the blood of cells from spleen, bone-marrow and the lymph-glands.