Nutrition-filled lymph drains from blood into the body tissues, into lymphatic tissues, then into the lymphatic system where it is filtered and returned to the bloodstream. It also plays a major role in the immune system, filtering out disease-causing organisms, producing specialized white blood cells and antibodies. Although joined to the cardiovascular system by a capillary system, the lymphatic system does not have a pump like the heart; this system relies on movement of the body to circulate fully.
- Bone marrow – produces lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes mature here
- Thymus – T-lymphocytes mature here
- Lymph nodes – filtering, diagnosis and treatment glands (100+)
- Lymph vessels – everywhere that blood vessels exist, but off the pump
- Spleen – (accessory lymphatic organ)
- Tonsils – (accessory lymphatic organ)
- Appendix – (accessory lymphatic organ)
- Carries nutrition, water and oxygen to individual tissue cells
- Carries out tissue cell waste and enters it into the nodes and organs for filtering
- Filters lymph for foreign and unusable particles
- Houses various immune cells that clean, diagnose and attack
- Absorbs fats from the intestines
Lymphatic Fun Facts
Lymph nodes are most plentiful in the neck, armpits and the groin.
Chemicals in the eyes, stomach and mouth fluids fight infections.