Lectures

Components of the Lymphatic System

by Joseph Alpert, MD
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    00:00 Now I mentioned it isn’t just fluid drainage which occurs in the lymphatic system. You can see here the three components. First there are the lymph vessels. We’ve talked about those: very fine in the capillaries, growing more, developed with smooth muscle and with valves as they get further away from the tissues.

    00:22 And here are the two ducts. You can see the left and the right duct feeding into the venous system, returning the fluid to the blood. And then you see that they’re connected to the lymph nodes. This is part of the defensive component of the lymphatic system.

    00:39 Lymph nodes produce lymphocytes, which are a major component of our immune system. The lymphocytes produce antibodies and they also are capable of differentiating in a number of ways that make them very strong allies to the body in fighting pathogens, particularly bacteria.

    01:01 Here you can see the lymph vessels going into the lymph nodes on the one side and the cleaned lymph coming out the other side. What happens is that the collecting lymph vessel accumulates lymph from the lymph capillaries out in the tissues, they become larger as they come up and then they enter the fluid into the lymph node.

    01:27 It turns out that sometimes not only does fluid escape from the capillaries but sometimes a little bit of protein escapes and sometimes cell debris from dying or broken-down cells.

    01:38 All of this material is carried to the lymph nodes by the lymph. And the lymph node then has the process of – if you will, it’s the disposal system for getting rid of any cell debris. Of course, it passes on the proteins in the lymph to eventually get back into the bloodstream. And, of course, any bacteria that get there will be attacked by the lymphocytes and destroyed.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Components of the Lymphatic System by Joseph Alpert, MD is from the course Diseases of the Lymphatic System.


    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Pituitary gland.
    2. Spleen.
    3. Tonsils.
    4. Peyer’s patches.

    Author of lecture Components of the Lymphatic System

     Joseph Alpert, MD

    Joseph Alpert, MD


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