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
- 10.1: Lymph and the Lymphatic System
- When tissue fluid enters the small blind-ended lymphatic capillariesthat form a network between the cells it becomes lymph. Lymph is a clear watery fluid that is very similar to blood plasma except that it contains large numbers of white blood cells, mostly lymphocytes. It also contains protein, cellular debris, foreign particles and bacteria.
Thumbnail: The lymphatic system, lymph vessels and lymph nodes. (Public Domain; NIH- a US government agency).