Lymphatic System : Parts and Functions

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Parts and Functions of Lymphatic System

Lymphatic system forms a network throughout our body and consists of lymph which is a fluid connective tissue. Lymphatic system contains lymph vessels and lymph capillaries.

Lymph:

Lymph is a whitish fluid derived from the blood plasma. Blood plasma circulates through the body, some amount of this plasma seeps through the walls of capillaries and other blood vessels. This leakage is important because this leaked fluid forms the lymph, and is required for maintaining the liquid environment around and between the individual cells and tissues, which is essential for the survival of cells and tissues.

The presence of lymph requires a drainage system to keep the fluid moving.

The absence of drainage system may lead to some problems like:

The dammed up lymph may create areas swollen with water and this may lead to drowning of cells and the stagnant lymph may become breeding place for infection of micro organisms.

Lymph moves through the vessels of the lymphatic system and carry away the bits and pieces of dead and disintegrated cells from the tissues and also removes the harmful bacteria and viruses.

Lymph and lymphocytes:

Lymphocytes are the white blood cells. Lymph contains the lymphocytes. Lymph is a watery vehicle which moves through the lymphatic network. At certain points, these vessels of lymph enlarge into clumpy structures called as lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are the major manufacturing sites for the lymphocytes.

Lymph nodes:

Lymph nodes are the swollen glands, where some lymphocytes fight against invading bacteria and other microscopic organisms. The lymph nodes are distributed around the body and serve as a defense out posts against germs which tries to enter our body. This can be felt in certain regions of our body like neck, groin and arm pits. Pain and swelling may be felt due to germ fighting.

Lymphatic circulation:

Lymph does not require heart for its circulation. Lymph diffuses into lymph capillaries, from the spaces between the cells and they form larger vessels and moves throughout the body. The muscles and movements of the body constantly knead and squeeze the lymph vessels. These vessels contains valves which prevents the back flow. The master lymph vessels from the head, abdomen and torso join in the thoracic lymph duct and empties into large neck veins, which carry lymph and venous blood mixed together and goes back to the heart.

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