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Lymphatic system

Synonym: Systema lymphaticum
German: Lymphatisches System

1 Definition

The lymphatic system is a complex network which contains the lymphoid organs and the thin-walled lymphoid vascular system. It serves the generation and transportation of lymphoid fluid and is classified as a part of the immune system.

2 Lympoid organs

Lymphoid organs are defined as organs respectively portions of tissues in which lymphcytes differentiate or proliferate. Further, primary and secondary lymphoid organs can be disinguished.

2.1 Primary lymphoid organs

Primary lymphoid organs consist of specialised tissue, in which generation and maturation of B- and T-lymphocytes takes place. The group of primary lymphoid organs cotains the following:

2.2 Secondary lymphoid organs

Inside of secondary lymphoid organs, antigen contact as well as clonal proliferation takes place. In this process effector cells and regulator cells are generated. This differentiation is located in zones of proliferation of the secondary lymphoid organs. Secondary lymphoid organs contain the following:

3 Lymphatic vascular system

The lymphatic vascular system consists of a network of thin-walled vessels, which collect the lymphatic fluid in spaces inside of certain tissues. In continuation, the lymph gets filtered in interposed lymph nodes and is transferred back into the blood circulation. The lymphatic vascular system contains the following:

The largest and most central lymphatic vessel is called ductus thoracicus. The ductus thoracicus is located inside of the thorax and drains into the left venous angle.

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