The word lymph means ‘clear water’ and is a clear, straw-coloured fluid derived from interstitial fluid. It is similar in composition to blood plasma and contains;
- Protein molecules that are too large to return to the blood circulation via capillaries.
- Lipid molecules that have been absorbed through lacteals located in the lining of the small intestines.
- Foreign particles such as bacteria that can cause disease.
- Cell debris from damage tissue
- Lymphocytes which are a type of white blood cells that function in the immune response.
Functions of the lymphatic system:
- Fights infection by producing specialised cells.
- Transports digested fats.
- Removes waste, toxins, and excess tissue fluid from the tissue cells.
Functions of the lymph nodes is to:
- Filter toxins
- Clean lymphatic fluid
- Produce antibodies and antitoxins.
- Produce lymphocytes.
Structure of the lymph system
- Composition of lymphatic fluid
- Lymphatic capillaries
- Lymphatic vessels
- Lymphatic nodes
- Lymphatic tissue
Body: Thoracic duct, right lymphatic duct, axillary, supra-trochlear, inguinal, cisterna chyli, popliteal, thymus gland, lacteals, spleen, superficial and deep cervical.
Face: Buccal, mandibula, occipital, submental, submandibular, superficial parotid nodes (anterior auricular), mastoid (posterior auricular).