This chapter describes the lymphatic system, the formation of lymph and its functions in the body.
After completing this section, you should know:
- the function of the lymphatic system
- what the terms tissue fluid, lymph, lymphocyte and lymphatic mean
- how lymph is formed and what is in it
- the basic structure and function of a lymph node and the position of some important lymph nodes in the body
- the route by which lymph circulates in the body and is returned to the blood system
- the location and function of the spleen, thymus and lacteals
- Fluid leaks out of the thin walled capillaries as they pass through the tissues. This is called tissue fluid.
- Much of tissue fluid passes back into the capillaries. Some enters the blind-ended lymphatic capillaries that form a network between the cells of the tissues. This fluid is called lymph.
- Lymph flows from the lymphatic capillaries to lymph vessels, passing through lymph nodes and along the thoracic duct to join the blood system.
- Lymph nodes filter the lymph and produce lymphocytes.
- Other organs of the lymphatic system are the spleen, thymus, bone marrow, and lymph nodules.