<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Anatomy of the lymphatic system

The left panel shows a female human body, and the entire lymphatic system is shown. The right panel shows magnified images of the thymus and the lymph node. All the major parts in the lymphatic system are labeled.
Lymphatic vessels in the arms and legs convey lymph to the larger lymphatic vessels in the torso.

A major distinction between the lymphatic and cardiovascular systems in humans is that lymph is not actively pumped by the heart, but is forced through the vessels by the movements of the body, the contraction of skeletal muscles during body movements, and breathing. One-way valves (semi-lunar valves) in lymphatic vessels keep the lymph moving toward the heart. Lymph flows from the lymphatic capillaries, through lymphatic vessels, and then is dumped into the circulatory system via the lymphatic ducts located at the junction of the jugular and subclavian veins in the neck.

Lymphatic capillaries

Lymphatic capillaries , also called the terminal lymphatics, are vessels where interstitial fluid enters the lymphatic system to become lymph fluid. Located in almost every tissue in the body, these vessels are interlaced among the arterioles and venules of the circulatory system in the soft connective tissues of the body ( [link] ). Exceptions are the central nervous system, bone marrow, bones, teeth, and the cornea of the eye, which do not contain lymph vessels.

Lymphatic capillaries

This image shows the lymph capillaries in the tissue spaces, and a magnified image shows the interstitial fluid and the lymph vessels. The major parts are labeled.
Lymphatic capillaries are interlaced with the arterioles and venules of the cardiovascular system. Collagen fibers anchor a lymphatic capillary in the tissue (inset). Interstitial fluid slips through spaces between the overlapping endothelial cells that compose the lymphatic capillary.

Lymphatic capillaries are formed by a one cell-thick layer of endothelial cells and represent the open end of the system, allowing interstitial fluid to flow into them via overlapping cells (see [link] ). When interstitial pressure is low, the endothelial flaps close to prevent “backflow.” As interstitial pressure increases, the spaces between the cells open up, allowing the fluid to enter. Entry of fluid into lymphatic capillaries is also enabled by the collagen filaments that anchor the capillaries to surrounding structures. As interstitial pressure increases, the filaments pull on the endothelial cell flaps, opening up them even further to allow easy entry of fluid.

In the small intestine, lymphatic capillaries called lacteals are critical for the transport of dietary lipids and lipid-soluble vitamins to the bloodstream. In the small intestine, dietary triglycerides combine with other lipids and proteins, and enter the lacteals to form a milky fluid called chyle    . The chyle then travels through the lymphatic system, eventually entering the liver and then the bloodstream.

Larger lymphatic vessels, trunks, and ducts

The lymphatic capillaries empty into larger lymphatic vessels, which are similar to veins in terms of their three-tunic structure and the presence of valves. These one-way valves are located fairly close to one another, and each one causes a bulge in the lymphatic vessel, giving the vessels a beaded appearance (see [link] ).

The superficial and deep lymphatics eventually merge to form larger lymphatic vessels known as lymphatic trunks    . On the right side of the body, the right sides of the head, thorax, and right upper limb drain lymph fluid into the right subclavian vein via the right lymphatic duct ( [link] ). On the left side of the body, the remaining portions of the body drain into the larger thoracic duct, which drains into the left subclavian vein. The thoracic duct itself begins just beneath the diaphragm in the cisterna chyli    , a sac-like chamber that receives lymph from the lower abdomen, pelvis, and lower limbs by way of the left and right lumbar trunks and the intestinal trunk.

Questions & Answers

draw the male reproductive system
Jeremaih Reply
hello am new here
Pednyin
how life
Jeremaih
Explain how different foods can affect metabolism
Abraham Reply
what is Endocrine system?
Islam Reply
which secrete hormones and other products direct into the blood
Aadi
Cell is basic, structural and functional unit of life
Kabuja Reply
The cell is the structural and functional unit of all living organisms, and is sometimes called the "building block of life." Some organisms, such as bacteria, are unicellular, consisting of a single cell.
Br_
hi am new here..wish to join you in this conversation
Rachel
welcome Rachel am Brianito
hingi
hey
HALLELUYAH
can some one help
HALLELUYAH
what is the basic function of the lymphatic system
HALLELUYAH
The other main function is that of defense in the immune system. Lymph is very similar to blood plasma: it contains lymphocytes. It also contains waste products and cellular debris together with bacteria and proteins. Associated organs composed of lymphoid tissue are the sites of lymphocyte producti
Adnan
the function of lymphatic system are 1fluid balance 2 lipid absorption and 3 defence
Sidra
destroyed microognism
Usman
lymphatic systems main function is to transport lymph
Colleen
may i know the meaning of infestation of parasite?
Aminiely
Which of the following accurately describe external respirations
Robin Reply
different between anatomy and physiology
Samwel Reply
anatomy is the study of STRUCTURE of the body while physiology is the study of the function of the part of the body
Gborgbor
Anatomy deals with the structure and parts of the body while physiology is the function of the the body parts
Archie
not understanding what is a cell
Kesa Reply
its the fundamental unit of life or its the primary step in which two or more cell combine to form a tissue .
Sidra
Is the smallest structural and functional unit of life
Aliyu
cell is the basic you unit of life
Esther
what is osteomalàcia
Ellen Reply
what is hydroxyapitate
Ellen
Hydroxyapatite, also called hydroxylapatite, is a naturally occurring mineral form of calcium apatite with the formula Ca₅(PO₄)₃, but it is usually written Ca₁₀(PO₄)₆(OH)₂ to denote that the crystal unit cell comprises two entities. Hydroxyapatite is the hydroxyl endmember of the complex apatite gro
Br_
..up
Br_
what's the best way to memorize the terms and what it does
Kesa
osteomalacia is where inorganic or mineral which is calcium and phosphorus are removed from a bone....this will make the bone become flexible n in children is called ricket
Rashida
wat work does anatomy do in the hospital and can they get work fast after finishing
SULE Reply
what is the meaning of suture?
praba Reply
it is a protective layer of brain
Madhureddy
it is a kind of non movable joint present between skull bones
neha
suture is an example of fibrous joint and is synatrosys(is not movable)
Rashida
a junction between the sclerites of an imsect's body
Aadi
c organ,organ system, organism
Dorothy Reply
reproductive sytstem
Dorothy
describe structure and functions of spleen
Umesh Reply
why calcium does not prodecessed by biological process?
James Reply
when calcium isn't processed that becomes Calcium Homeostasis
Br_
follow this link for extra info on all processes of calcium including calcium metabolism > ***google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=***opentextbc.ca/anatomyandphysiology/chapter/6-7-calcium-homeostasis-interactions-of-the-skeletal-system-and-other-organ-systems/&ved=2ahUKEwi06LTw-sP
Br_
Copy it and paste it on your browser url
Br_
What are the functions of batholine glan
Aliyu Reply
secretions
Sadia
Of what
Aliyu
what is pathogen
Nafiw Reply
hello
KING
an organism who invades the susceptible host
Mannu
what tenderness chord
KING
Tenderness A She tried to show me how to love D I bit her lips and bruised ...
Lovely
wha
Mannu
is not
KING
Pathogens are decease causing agents.... it can be a viral infection or fungai infection... thank u
Issah
laws of Gregor mended of genetics
Gloria
What is nosocomial
Bin
hospital accused infection.
Mailes
Hospital acquired infections
Clarice
Hospital acquired infections
Mailes
Hospital acquired infection
Vida

Get the best Anatomy & Physiology course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Anatomy & Physiology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask