The pipes of the lymphatic system are called lymphatics or lymph vessels.
At places in the lymphatic system there are tiny lumps called nodes. These are filters which trap germs that have got into the lymph fluid.
The lymphatic system has no pump, such as the heart, to make it circulate. Instead, lymphatic fluid is circulated as a side effect of the heartbeat and muscle movement.
In the nodes, armies of white blood cells called lymphocytes neutralize or destroy germs.
Lymph fluid drains back to the blood through the body’s primary vein, the superior vena cava.
Whenever you have a cold or any other infection, the lymph nodes in your neck or groin or below your arm, may swell, as lymphocytes battle germs. This is occasionally called ‘swollen glands.
On average, at any time about one to two liters of lymph fluid move in the lymphatics and body tissues.
The lymphatic system is not just the lymphatics and lymph nodes, however includes the spleen, the thymus, the tonsils and the adenoids.
You can find two types of lymphocyte, T lymphocytes (T-cells) and B lymphocytes (B-cells).
Lymphocytes are white blood cells that perform a key part in the body’s immune system, which targets invading germs.
B-cells develop into plasma cells which make antibodies to attack bacteria including those which cause cholera, as well as several viruses.
The lymphatic system performs a significant role in the smooth functioning of the body. It assists in the transportation of fluids and also counters the infections due to viruses and bacteria.
The key function of the lymphatic system is to eliminate interstitial liquids out of the lymphoid tissues in the body. However, it plays many other functions other than just getting rid of interstitial fluids through the lymphoid tissues.
The transportation of lymphocytes through bone marrow to the lymph nodes is also one of its primary functions. The lymphatic system soaks up fats and fatty acids from the circulatory system. These fats are soaked up in the type of a substance known as chyle.
Lymphatic System Diseases:
The lymphatic system is impacted by diseases such as Lymphangiosarcoma, lymphedema, Hodgkin's lymphoma, elephantiasis and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.