Achieve Mastery of Medical Concepts

Study for medical school and boards with Lecturio

Primary Lymphatic Organs

The primary lymphoid organs, also referred to as central lymphoid/lymphatic organs, are the tissues responsible for the production of lymphoid cells from progenitor cells, incuding the bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis and the thymus Thymus A single, unpaired primary lymphoid organ situated in the mediastinum, extending superiorly into the neck to the lower edge of the thyroid gland and inferiorly to the fourth costal cartilage. It is necessary for normal development of immunologic function early in life. By puberty, it begins to involute and much of the tissue is replaced by fat. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy. In the bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis, hematopoietic stem cells Hematopoietic stem cells Progenitor cells from which all blood cells derived. They are found primarily in the bone marrow and also in small numbers in the peripheral blood. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis progress to become oligopotent progenitors Oligopotent progenitors Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis (in the case of lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology, the common lymphoid progenitor). B lymphocytes B lymphocytes Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation. B cells: Types and Functions stay and undergo processes for differentiation before migrating to the secondary lymphoid organs (such as lymph nodes Lymph Nodes They are oval or bean shaped bodies (1 - 30 mm in diameter) located along the lymphatic system. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy). The progenitor cells that are to become T lymphocytes T lymphocytes Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified - cytotoxic (t-lymphocytes, cytotoxic) and helper T-lymphocytes (t-lymphocytes, helper-inducer). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the thymus gland and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen. T cells: Types and Functions proceed to the thymus Thymus A single, unpaired primary lymphoid organ situated in the mediastinum, extending superiorly into the neck to the lower edge of the thyroid gland and inferiorly to the fourth costal cartilage. It is necessary for normal development of immunologic function early in life. By puberty, it begins to involute and much of the tissue is replaced by fat. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy for further maturation.

Last updated: 9 Mar, 2022

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Overview

Immune system

  • The immune system provides defense (immunity) against invading pathogens ranging from viruses Viruses Minute infectious agents whose genomes are composed of DNA or RNA, but not both. They are characterized by a lack of independent metabolism and the inability to replicate outside living host cells. Virology to parasites. The components of the immune system are interconnected by blood and the lymphatic circulation Circulation The movement of the blood as it is pumped through the cardiovascular system. ABCDE Assessment.
  • 2 overlapping lines of defense Lines of Defense Inflammation:
    • Innate immunity Innate immunity The capacity of a normal organism to remain unaffected by microorganisms and their toxins. It results from the presence of naturally occurring anti-infective agents, constitutional factors such as body temperature and immediate acting immune cells such as natural killer cells. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation (nonspecific), involving the following cells:
      • Natural killer cells Natural killer cells A specialized subset of T-lymphocytes that exhibit features of innate immunity similar to that of natural killer cells. They are reactive to glycolipids presented in the context of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-like molecule, CD1D antigen. Lymphocytes: Histology
      • Monocytes Monocytes Large, phagocytic mononuclear leukocytes produced in the vertebrate bone marrow and released into the blood; contain a large, oval or somewhat indented nucleus surrounded by voluminous cytoplasm and numerous organelles. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation/ macrophages Macrophages The relatively long-lived phagocytic cell of mammalian tissues that are derived from blood monocytes. Main types are peritoneal macrophages; alveolar macrophages; histiocytes; kupffer cells of the liver; and osteoclasts. They may further differentiate within chronic inflammatory lesions to epithelioid cells or may fuse to form foreign body giant cells or langhans giant cells. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation
      • Dendritic cells Dendritic cells Specialized cells of the hematopoietic system that have branch-like extensions. They are found throughout the lymphatic system, and in non-lymphoid tissues such as skin and the epithelia of the intestinal, respiratory, and reproductive tracts. They trap and process antigens, and present them to T-cells, thereby stimulating cell-mediated immunity. They are different from the non-hematopoietic follicular dendritic cells, which have a similar morphology and immune system function, but with respect to humoral immunity (antibody production). Skin: Structure and Functions
      • Neutrophils Neutrophils Granular leukocytes having a nucleus with three to five lobes connected by slender threads of chromatin, and cytoplasm containing fine inconspicuous granules and stainable by neutral dyes. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation, basophils Basophils Granular leukocytes characterized by a relatively pale-staining, lobate nucleus and cytoplasm containing coarse dark-staining granules of variable size and stainable by basic dyes. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation, eosinophils Eosinophils Granular leukocytes with a nucleus that usually has two lobes connected by a slender thread of chromatin, and cytoplasm containing coarse, round granules that are uniform in size and stainable by eosin. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation
      • Tissue mast cells Mast cells Granulated cells that are found in almost all tissues, most abundantly in the skin and the gastrointestinal tract. Like the basophils, mast cells contain large amounts of histamine and heparin. Unlike basophils, mast cells normally remain in the tissues and do not circulate in the blood. Mast cells, derived from the bone marrow stem cells, are regulated by the stem cell factor. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation
    • Adaptive immunity (based on specific antigen Antigen Substances that are recognized by the immune system and induce an immune reaction. Vaccination recognition) involves the following cells:
      • T and B lymphocytes B lymphocytes Lymphoid cells concerned with humoral immunity. They are short-lived cells resembling bursa-derived lymphocytes of birds in their production of immunoglobulin upon appropriate stimulation. B cells: Types and Functions (derived from lymphoid organs)
      • Antigen-presenting cells Antigen-presenting cells A heterogeneous group of immunocompetent cells that mediate the cellular immune response by processing and presenting antigens to the T-cells. Traditional antigen-presenting cells include macrophages; dendritic cells; langerhans cells; and B-lymphocytes. Follicular dendritic cells are not traditional antigen-presenting cells, but because they hold antigen on their cell surface in the form of immune complexes for b-cell recognition they are considered so by some authors. Adaptive Immune Response

Lymphatic system

The lymphatic system ( lymph vessels Lymph vessels Tubular vessels that are involved in the transport of lymph and lymphocytes. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy, lymph fluid Lymph fluid The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy, and lymphoid organs) is part of the body’s immune system.

  • Lymphoid organs:
    • Primary: 
      • Locations where lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology develop from progenitor cells (initial formation)
      • Include the bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis and thymus Thymus A single, unpaired primary lymphoid organ situated in the mediastinum, extending superiorly into the neck to the lower edge of the thyroid gland and inferiorly to the fourth costal cartilage. It is necessary for normal development of immunologic function early in life. By puberty, it begins to involute and much of the tissue is replaced by fat. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy
    • Secondary: 
      • Sites where lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology undergo activation, proliferation, and additional maturation
      • Include the spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy, lymph nodes Lymph Nodes They are oval or bean shaped bodies (1 – 30 mm in diameter) located along the lymphatic system. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy, and MALT MALT Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy (i.e., tonsils Tonsils Tonsillitis)
  • Lymphatic vessels Lymphatic Vessels Tubular vessels that are involved in the transport of lymph and lymphocytes. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy and ducts:
Anatomy of the lymphatic system

Anatomy of the lymphatic system:
Includes the primary ( bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis, thymus Thymus A single, unpaired primary lymphoid organ situated in the mediastinum, extending superiorly into the neck to the lower edge of the thyroid gland and inferiorly to the fourth costal cartilage. It is necessary for normal development of immunologic function early in life. By puberty, it begins to involute and much of the tissue is replaced by fat. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy) and secondary ( spleen Spleen The spleen is the largest lymphoid organ in the body, located in the LUQ of the abdomen, superior to the left kidney and posterior to the stomach at the level of the 9th-11th ribs just below the diaphragm. The spleen is highly vascular and acts as an important blood filter, cleansing the blood of pathogens and damaged erythrocytes. Spleen: Anatomy, lymph nodes Lymph Nodes They are oval or bean shaped bodies (1 – 30 mm in diameter) located along the lymphatic system. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy, and MALT MALT Colon, Cecum, and Appendix: Anatomy) lymphoid organs
Lymphatic vessels Lymphatic Vessels Tubular vessels that are involved in the transport of lymph and lymphocytes. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy convey lymph Lymph The interstitial fluid that is in the lymphatic system. Secondary Lymphatic Organs to the larger lymphatic vessels Lymphatic Vessels Tubular vessels that are involved in the transport of lymph and lymphocytes. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy in the torso, transporting fluid back to the venous circulation Circulation The movement of the blood as it is pumped through the cardiovascular system. ABCDE Assessment.

Image: “Anatomy of the Lymphatic System” by OpenStax. License: CC BY 4.0

Bone Marrow

Anatomy

Bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis is the spongy tissue found in the medullary canals Medullary canals Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis of long bones Long bones Length greater than width. Bones: Structure and Types and cavities of the cancellous bones. 

  • Red bone marrow Red bone marrow Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis:
    • Hematopoietic/blood-forming
    • Located in flat bones Flat bones Bones: Structure and Types ( skull Skull The skull (cranium) is the skeletal structure of the head supporting the face and forming a protective cavity for the brain. The skull consists of 22 bones divided into the viscerocranium (facial skeleton) and the neurocranium. Skull: Anatomy, sternum Sternum A long, narrow, and flat bone commonly known as breastbone occurring in the midsection of the anterior thoracic segment or chest region, which stabilizes the rib cage and serves as the point of origin for several muscles that move the arms, head, and neck. Chest Wall: Anatomy, vertebrae, scapulae, and pelvic bones) and epiphysis Epiphysis The head of a long bone that is separated from the shaft by the epiphyseal plate until bone growth stops. At that time, the plate disappears and the head and shaft are united. Bones: Structure and Types of long bones Long bones Length greater than width. Bones: Structure and Types (femur, tibia Tibia The second longest bone of the skeleton. It is located on the medial side of the lower leg, articulating with the fibula laterally, the talus distally, and the femur proximally. Knee Joint: Anatomy, humerus Humerus Bone in humans and primates extending from the shoulder joint to the elbow joint. Arm: Anatomy)
  • Yellow bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis:
Red and yellow marrow portions of the bone

Bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis:
Cross section showing the red and yellow marrow of the bone Bone Bone is a compact type of hardened connective tissue composed of bone cells, membranes, an extracellular mineralized matrix, and central bone marrow. The 2 primary types of bone are compact and spongy. Bones: Structure and Types

Image: “619 Red and Yellow Bone Marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis” by OpenStax College. License: CC BY 3.0

Main Functions

  • Primary site of blood cell formation Blood cell formation The development and formation of various types of blood cells. Hematopoiesis can take place in the bone marrow (medullary) or outside the bone marrow (extramedullary hematopoiesis). Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis (by the 5th month of gestation)
  • Breakdown of old RBCs RBCs Erythrocytes, or red blood cells (RBCs), are the most abundant cells in the blood. While erythrocytes in the fetus are initially produced in the yolk sac then the liver, the bone marrow eventually becomes the main site of production. Erythrocytes: Histology (into bilirubin Bilirubin A bile pigment that is a degradation product of heme. Heme Metabolism, iron Iron A metallic element with atomic symbol fe, atomic number 26, and atomic weight 55. 85. It is an essential constituent of hemoglobins; cytochromes; and iron-binding proteins. It plays a role in cellular redox reactions and in the transport of oxygen. Trace Elements, globin) via macrophages Macrophages The relatively long-lived phagocytic cell of mammalian tissues that are derived from blood monocytes. Main types are peritoneal macrophages; alveolar macrophages; histiocytes; kupffer cells of the liver; and osteoclasts. They may further differentiate within chronic inflammatory lesions to epithelioid cells or may fuse to form foreign body giant cells or langhans giant cells. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation and reuse of iron Iron A metallic element with atomic symbol fe, atomic number 26, and atomic weight 55. 85. It is an essential constituent of hemoglobins; cytochromes; and iron-binding proteins. It plays a role in cellular redox reactions and in the transport of oxygen. Trace Elements
  • Storage of fat through adipocytes Adipocytes Cells in the body that store fats, usually in the form of triglycerides. White adipocytes are the predominant type and found mostly in the abdominal cavity and subcutaneous tissue. Brown adipocytes are thermogenic cells that can be found in newborns of some species and hibernating mammals. Adipose Tissue: Histology

Structures

Thymus

Anatomy

  • Encapsulated Encapsulated Klebsiella bilobed primary lymphoid organ 
  • Located in the anterosuperior mediastinum Mediastinum The mediastinum is the thoracic area between the 2 pleural cavities. The mediastinum contains vital structures of the circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and nervous systems including the heart and esophagus, and major thoracic vessels. Mediastinum and Great Vessels: Anatomy
  • Development and growth:
    • Arises from the 3rd and 4th pharyngeal pouches Pharyngeal pouches Branchial Apparatus and Aortic Arches ( endoderm Endoderm The inner of the three germ layers of an embryo. Gastrulation and Neurulation)
    • Thymic lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology arise from the mesoderm Mesoderm The middle germ layer of an embryo derived from three paired mesenchymal aggregates along the neural tube. Gastrulation and Neurulation.
    • 12 g at birth, reaches maximum weight at puberty Puberty Puberty is a complex series of physical, psychosocial, and cognitive transitions usually experienced by adolescents (11-19 years of age). Puberty is marked by a growth in stature and the development of secondary sexual characteristics, achievement of fertility, and changes in most body systems. Puberty (30–40 g)
    • After puberty Puberty Puberty is a complex series of physical, psychosocial, and cognitive transitions usually experienced by adolescents (11-19 years of age). Puberty is marked by a growth in stature and the development of secondary sexual characteristics, achievement of fertility, and changes in most body systems. Puberty, it undergoes involution (lymphoid parenchyma is replaced by adipose tissue Adipose tissue Adipose tissue is a specialized type of connective tissue that has both structural and highly complex metabolic functions, including energy storage, glucose homeostasis, and a multitude of endocrine capabilities. There are three types of adipose tissue, white adipose tissue, brown adipose tissue, and beige or “brite” adipose tissue, which is a transitional form. Adipose Tissue: Histology).

Main function

The main function of the thymus Thymus A single, unpaired primary lymphoid organ situated in the mediastinum, extending superiorly into the neck to the lower edge of the thyroid gland and inferiorly to the fourth costal cartilage. It is necessary for normal development of immunologic function early in life. By puberty, it begins to involute and much of the tissue is replaced by fat. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy is to act as the site of T-cell differentiation and maturation (from the bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis, progenitor cells go to the thymus Thymus A single, unpaired primary lymphoid organ situated in the mediastinum, extending superiorly into the neck to the lower edge of the thyroid gland and inferiorly to the fourth costal cartilage. It is necessary for normal development of immunologic function early in life. By puberty, it begins to involute and much of the tissue is replaced by fat. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy).

General structure

  • With dense connective tissue Dense connective tissue Connective Tissue: Histology capsule Capsule An envelope of loose gel surrounding a bacterial cell which is associated with the virulence of pathogenic bacteria. Some capsules have a well-defined border, whereas others form a slime layer that trails off into the medium. Most capsules consist of relatively simple polysaccharides but there are some bacteria whose capsules are made of polypeptides. Bacteroides
  • Divided into 2 asymmetrical lobes (right is larger):
    • Each lobe of the thymus Thymus A single, unpaired primary lymphoid organ situated in the mediastinum, extending superiorly into the neck to the lower edge of the thyroid gland and inferiorly to the fourth costal cartilage. It is necessary for normal development of immunologic function early in life. By puberty, it begins to involute and much of the tissue is replaced by fat. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy has smaller lobules Lobules Breasts: Anatomy separated by trabeculae ( fibrous Fibrous Fibrocystic Change septa extending from the outer capsule Capsule An envelope of loose gel surrounding a bacterial cell which is associated with the virulence of pathogenic bacteria. Some capsules have a well-defined border, whereas others form a slime layer that trails off into the medium. Most capsules consist of relatively simple polysaccharides but there are some bacteria whose capsules are made of polypeptides. Bacteroides).
    • Each lobule contains a:
      • Cortex
      • Medulla

Functional regions

  • Cortex:
    • Outer part of the lobule (dark)
    • Area where the bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis–derived cells (CD4–, CD8–) enter.
    • Contains dense groups of developing immature T cells T cells Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified – cytotoxic (t-lymphocytes, cytotoxic) and helper T-lymphocytes (t-lymphocytes, helper-inducer). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the thymus gland and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen. T cells: Types and Functions/thymocytes (with variable Variable Variables represent information about something that can change. The design of the measurement scales, or of the methods for obtaining information, will determine the data gathered and the characteristics of that data. As a result, a variable can be qualitative or quantitative, and may be further classified into subgroups. Types of Variables sizes and rare mitoses)
  • Medulla: 
    • Lighter-staining central area of the lobule
    • Loosely arranged
    • As T cells T cells Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified – cytotoxic (t-lymphocytes, cytotoxic) and helper T-lymphocytes (t-lymphocytes, helper-inducer). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the thymus gland and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen. T cells: Types and Functions mature, they migrate from the cortex toward the medulla.
    • Contains:
      • Mature lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology (less numerous)
      • Hassall’s, or thymic, corpuscles: whorls of squamous-appearing epithelial cells (remnants of degenerating cells and cytokeratins) 
  • The corticomedullary junction contains antigen-presenting cells Antigen-presenting cells A heterogeneous group of immunocompetent cells that mediate the cellular immune response by processing and presenting antigens to the T-cells. Traditional antigen-presenting cells include macrophages; dendritic cells; langerhans cells; and B-lymphocytes. Follicular dendritic cells are not traditional antigen-presenting cells, but because they hold antigen on their cell surface in the form of immune complexes for b-cell recognition they are considered so by some authors. Adaptive Immune Response, dendritic cells Dendritic cells Specialized cells of the hematopoietic system that have branch-like extensions. They are found throughout the lymphatic system, and in non-lymphoid tissues such as skin and the epithelia of the intestinal, respiratory, and reproductive tracts. They trap and process antigens, and present them to T-cells, thereby stimulating cell-mediated immunity. They are different from the non-hematopoietic follicular dendritic cells, which have a similar morphology and immune system function, but with respect to humoral immunity (antibody production). Skin: Structure and Functions, and macrophages Macrophages The relatively long-lived phagocytic cell of mammalian tissues that are derived from blood monocytes. Main types are peritoneal macrophages; alveolar macrophages; histiocytes; kupffer cells of the liver; and osteoclasts. They may further differentiate within chronic inflammatory lesions to epithelioid cells or may fuse to form foreign body giant cells or langhans giant cells. Innate Immunity: Phagocytes and Antigen Presentation.

Vasculature

  • Arterial blood supply is from the internal thoracic arteries Arteries Arteries are tubular collections of cells that transport oxygenated blood and nutrients from the heart to the tissues of the body. The blood passes through the arteries in order of decreasing luminal diameter, starting in the largest artery (the aorta) and ending in the small arterioles. Arteries are classified into 3 types: large elastic arteries, medium muscular arteries, and small arteries and arterioles. Arteries: Histology
  • Venous blood drains into the brachiocephalic and internal thoracic veins Veins Veins are tubular collections of cells, which transport deoxygenated blood and waste from the capillary beds back to the heart. Veins are classified into 3 types: small veins/venules, medium veins, and large veins. Each type contains 3 primary layers: tunica intima, tunica media, and tunica adventitia. Veins: Histology.
  • Blood vessels enter and exit the thymus Thymus A single, unpaired primary lymphoid organ situated in the mediastinum, extending superiorly into the neck to the lower edge of the thyroid gland and inferiorly to the fourth costal cartilage. It is necessary for normal development of immunologic function early in life. By puberty, it begins to involute and much of the tissue is replaced by fat. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy through trabeculae.
  • The thymus Thymus A single, unpaired primary lymphoid organ situated in the mediastinum, extending superiorly into the neck to the lower edge of the thyroid gland and inferiorly to the fourth costal cartilage. It is necessary for normal development of immunologic function early in life. By puberty, it begins to involute and much of the tissue is replaced by fat. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy contains only efferent Efferent Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells. Nervous System: Histology lymphatics that end up carrying the mature lymphocytes Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are heterogeneous WBCs involved in immune response. Lymphocytes develop from the bone marrow, starting from hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progressing to common lymphoid progenitors (CLPs). B and T lymphocytes and natural killer (NK) cells arise from the lineage. Lymphocytes: Histology from the thymus Thymus A single, unpaired primary lymphoid organ situated in the mediastinum, extending superiorly into the neck to the lower edge of the thyroid gland and inferiorly to the fourth costal cartilage. It is necessary for normal development of immunologic function early in life. By puberty, it begins to involute and much of the tissue is replaced by fat. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy.

Related videos

Clinical Relevance

  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (ALL/LBL) are hematologic malignancies characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of lymphoid precursor cells. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma, the most common forms of cancer affecting children, show the presence of increased lymphoblasts. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia: hematologic malignancy Malignancy Hemothorax with uncontrolled proliferation of lymphoid precursor cells. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma (ALL/LBL) are hematologic malignancies characterized by the uncontrolled proliferation of lymphoid precursor cells. Acute lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma, the most common forms of cancer affecting children, show the presence of increased lymphoblasts. Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia/ lymphoma Lymphoma A general term for various neoplastic diseases of the lymphoid tissue. Imaging of the Mediastinum (ALL/LBL), the most common form of cancer affecting children, is characterized by increased lymphoblasts Lymphoblasts Lymphocytosis. The disease causes replacement of normal marrow by lymphoblasts Lymphoblasts Lymphocytosis, which eventually go into circulation Circulation The movement of the blood as it is pumped through the cardiovascular system. ABCDE Assessment and infiltrate other organs. Clinical presentation Presentation The position or orientation of the fetus at near term or during obstetric labor, determined by its relation to the spine of the mother and the birth canal. The normal position is a vertical, cephalic presentation with the fetal vertex flexed on the neck. Normal and Abnormal Labor consists of fatigue Fatigue The state of weariness following a period of exertion, mental or physical, characterized by a decreased capacity for work and reduced efficiency to respond to stimuli. Fibromyalgia, bleeding, fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever, and infections Infections Invasion of the host organism by microorganisms or their toxins or by parasites that can cause pathological conditions or diseases. Chronic Granulomatous Disease that are related to the anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types, thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia Thrombocytopenia occurs when the platelet count is < 150,000 per microliter. The normal range for platelets is usually 150,000-450,000/µL of whole blood. Thrombocytopenia can be a result of decreased production, increased destruction, or splenic sequestration of platelets. Patients are often asymptomatic until platelet counts are < 50,000/µL. Thrombocytopenia, and lack of functional WBCs. Diagnosis is by peripheral blood smear Peripheral Blood Smear Anemia: Overview and Types and bone marrow Bone marrow The soft tissue filling the cavities of bones. Bone marrow exists in two types, yellow and red. Yellow marrow is found in the large cavities of large bones and consists mostly of fat cells and a few primitive blood cells. Red marrow is a hematopoietic tissue and is the site of production of erythrocytes and granular leukocytes. Bone marrow is made up of a framework of connective tissue containing branching fibers with the frame being filled with marrow cells. Bone Marrow: Composition and Hematopoiesis biopsy Biopsy Removal and pathologic examination of specimens from the living body. Ewing Sarcoma examination showing lymphoblasts Lymphoblasts Lymphocytosis. Management is mainly chemotherapy Chemotherapy Osteosarcoma administered in phases. 
  • Thymoma: rare thymic neoplasm often discovered incidentally on imaging. Thoracic symptoms occur because of effects on the adjacent organs (can cause shortness of breath Shortness of breath Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea, cough, phrenic nerve Phrenic nerve The motor nerve of the diaphragm. The phrenic nerve fibers originate in the cervical spinal column (mostly C4) and travel through the cervical plexus to the diaphragm. Diaphragm: Anatomy palsy Palsy paralysis of an area of the body, thus incapable of voluntary movement Cranial Nerve Palsies, superior vena cava syndrome Superior vena cava syndrome A condition that occurs when the obstruction of the thin-walled superior vena cava interrupts blood flow from the head, upper extremities, and thorax to the right atrium. Obstruction can be caused by neoplasms; thrombosis; aneurysm; or external compression. The syndrome is characterized by swelling and/or cyanosis of the face, neck, and upper arms. Lung Cancer). The most common paraneoplastic syndrome associated with a thymoma is myasthenia gravis Myasthenia Gravis Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder characterized by weakness and fatigability of skeletal muscles caused by dysfunction/destruction of acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction. MG presents with fatigue, ptosis, diplopia, dysphagia, respiratory difficulties, and progressive weakness in the limbs, leading to difficulty in movement. Myasthenia Gravis.
  • DiGeorge syndrome DiGeorge syndrome DiGeorge syndrome (DGS) is a condition caused by a microdeletion at location q11.2 of chromosome 22 (thus also called 22q11.2 syndrome). There is a defective development of the third and fourth pharyngeal pouches, leading to thymic and parathyroid hypoplasia (causing T-cell immunodeficiency and hypocalcemia, respectively). DiGeorge Syndrome: condition caused by a microdeletion at location q11.2 of chromosome Chromosome In a prokaryotic cell or in the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell, a structure consisting of or containing DNA which carries the genetic information essential to the cell. Basic Terms of Genetics 22. In DiGeorge syndrome DiGeorge syndrome DiGeorge syndrome (DGS) is a condition caused by a microdeletion at location q11.2 of chromosome 22 (thus also called 22q11.2 syndrome). There is a defective development of the third and fourth pharyngeal pouches, leading to thymic and parathyroid hypoplasia (causing T-cell immunodeficiency and hypocalcemia, respectively). DiGeorge Syndrome, there is defective development of the 3rd and 4th pharyngeal pouches Pharyngeal pouches Branchial Apparatus and Aortic Arches, leading to thymic and parathyroid Parathyroid The parathyroid glands are 2 pairs of small endocrine glands found in close proximity to the thyroid gland. The superior parathyroid glands are lodged within the parenchyma of the upper poles of the right and left thyroid lobes; the inferior parathyroid glands are close to the inferior tips or poles of the lobes. Parathyroid Glands: Anatomy hypoplasia Hypoplasia Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) (causing T-cell immunodeficiency Immunodeficiency Chédiak-Higashi Syndrome and hypocalcemia Hypocalcemia Hypocalcemia, a serum calcium < 8.5 mg/dL, can result from various conditions. The causes may include hypoparathyroidism, drugs, disorders leading to vitamin D deficiency, and more. Calcium levels are regulated and affected by different elements such as dietary intake, parathyroid hormone (PTH), vitamin D, pH, and albumin. Presentation can range from an asymptomatic (mild deficiency) to a life-threatening condition (acute, significant deficiency). Hypocalcemia, respectively). Conotruncal anomalies present as congenital Congenital Chorioretinitis heart defects. Diagnosis is via clinical findings, laboratory tests (showing reduced T cells T cells Lymphocytes responsible for cell-mediated immunity. Two types have been identified – cytotoxic (t-lymphocytes, cytotoxic) and helper T-lymphocytes (t-lymphocytes, helper-inducer). They are formed when lymphocytes circulate through the thymus gland and differentiate to thymocytes. When exposed to an antigen, they divide rapidly and produce large numbers of new T cells sensitized to that antigen. T cells: Types and Functions and low calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes), echocardiography Echocardiography Ultrasonic recording of the size, motion, and composition of the heart and surrounding tissues. The standard approach is transthoracic. Tricuspid Valve Atresia (TVA), and genetic analysis. Treatment can include calcium Calcium A basic element found in nearly all tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes. Electrolytes supplementation, prophylactic antibiotics, surgery, and thymus Thymus A single, unpaired primary lymphoid organ situated in the mediastinum, extending superiorly into the neck to the lower edge of the thyroid gland and inferiorly to the fourth costal cartilage. It is necessary for normal development of immunologic function early in life. By puberty, it begins to involute and much of the tissue is replaced by fat. Lymphatic Drainage System: Anatomy or hematopoietic cell transplantation. 

References

  1. Haynes, B.F., Soderberg, K.A., Fauci, A.S. (2018). Introduction to the immune system. In: Jameson, J., et al. (Eds.), Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th ed. McGraw-Hill. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=2129&sectionid=192284326
  2. Mescher, A.L. (Ed.). (2018). The immune system & lymphoid organs. In: Junqueira’s Basic Histology: Text and Atlas, 15th ed. McGraw-Hill. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=2430&sectionid=190282111
  3. Scoville, S., Caligiuri, M.A. (2021). The organization and structure of lymphoid tissues. In: Kaushansky, K., et al. (Eds.), Williams Hematology, 10th ed. McGraw-Hill. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=2962&sectionid=252523494

USMLE™ is a joint program of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB®) and National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME®). MCAT is a registered trademark of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). NCLEX®, NCLEX-RN®, and NCLEX-PN® are registered trademarks of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc (NCSBN®). None of the trademark holders are endorsed by nor affiliated with Lecturio.

Study on the Go

Lecturio Medical complements your studies with evidence-based learning strategies, video lectures, quiz questions, and more – all combined in one easy-to-use resource.

Learn even more with Lecturio:

Complement your med school studies with Lecturio’s all-in-one study companion, delivered with evidence-based learning strategies.

User Reviews

¡Hola!

Esta página está disponible en Español.

🍪 Lecturio is using cookies to improve your user experience. By continuing use of our service you agree upon our Data Privacy Statement.

Details