Structure of the Lymphatic System

Structure of the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system plays a crucial role in the body’s immune response as well as in the absorption of fats from the intestine.

Components and Function

  • Lymph: This is the fluid that travels through the lymphatic system. It contains lymphocytes, white blood cells that fight infections.

  • Lymph vessels: These act much like blood vessels to carry lymph throughout the body.

  • Lymph nodes: Small, bean-shaped structures that produce and store cells that fight infection and disease. They philtre the lymph fluid, removing any foreign particles, such as bacteria.

  • Thymus: Located in the chest, the thymus produces T-lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.

  • Spleen: The largest lymphatic organ in the body which philtres blood and stores red and white blood cells along with platelets.

  • Tonsils: These are large clusters of lymphatic cells located in the pharynx.

  • Bone marrow: The yellow tissue in the centre of bones. It produces white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.

Key Role

  • Immune response: The lymphatic system produces and dispatches lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) that protect the body against foreign substances.

  • Fluid balance: It helps maintain fluid levels in the body by returning excess fluid and proteins from the tissues that cannot be returned through the blood vessels.

  • Fat absorption: The lymphatic system also aids in the absorption of fats and fat-soluble vitamins from the digestive system and transports them to the cells of the body.