Physiology - Lymphatic System

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Lymphatic System
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What is the Lymphatic system and what is it responsible for?

Includes cells/tissues/organs responsible for defending body against pathogens / internal threats (Cancer)

Consists of two semi- independent parts

- A meandering network of lymphatic vessels

- Lymphoid tissues and organs scattered throughout the body


What are Lymphatic vessels?

  • A one-way system in which lymph flows toward the heart
  • Lymph vessels collect and transport lymph fluid from tissues to circulatory system
  • Lymph vessels include: Microscopic, permeable, blind-ended capillaries
  • Lymphatic collecting vessels: Trunks and ducts

What are Lymphatic capillaries?

Similar to blood capillaries, with modifications

-Remarkably permeable
-Loosely joined endothelial minivalves
- Withstand interstitial pressure and remain open


Explain the following:





Pathogens – responsible for human disease

Virus – abide in cells

Parasites – burrow through internal organs

Bacteria - release protein / damage cell organ


What are the primary cells of the Lymphoid system called?

– Lymphocytes

  • Known as immune response
  • Vital to overcome infection / diseases
  • Responds to: pathogens | body cells | proteins
  • Eliminates threats = render them harmless

The Lymphoid System consists of:

- Lymph

- Lymphatic vessels (lymphatics)

- Lymphoid tissues / lymphoid organs

- Lymphocytes


What is Lymph?

Lymph – a clear fluid which resembles plasma (lower concentration of suspended proteins)

- Interstitial fluid becomes lymph once it has entered lymphatic vessels


What are the main Lymphoid organs?

Lymphoid organs:

  • Lymph nodes
  • Thymus
  • Spleen

What are the 2 main basic functions of the Lymphoid organs?

Their two basic functions are:

  • Filtration – macrophages destroy microorganisms and debris
  • Immune system activation – monitor for antigens and mount an attack against them
  • Only lymph organ that filters lymph

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