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1. Interstitial fluid 2. Structure of lymphatic system 3.

Comparison: lymphatic & circulatory

What is Interstitial Fluid?

A medium that surround and bathes the cell for cells to receive nutrition or undergo gaseous exchange. It is continuously being replaced by fresh fluid from the blood.

Components of Interstitial Fluid

Consists of water-based solvent containing nutrients (amino acids, sugars, fatty acids, coenzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, salts) & waste products from cells. Also contains some types of WBC, which help in combat infection. Composition of IF depends upon the exchange between the cells in tissue & in blood. IF has different composition in diff. tissues & diff. areas of the body.

Formation of Interstitial Fluid

IF is formed during the blood flow by high hydrostatic pressure in blood vessels, generated by the pumping force of the heart. This high pressure is sufficient to cause fluid to leak continuously from the blood into spaces between the cells. IF need to return back to circulatory system to prevent the formation of oedema (swelling) which often can be seen around ankles & feet.

What is Lymph?
Lymph is a colorless/transparent yellowish liquid within the lymphatic system; it drains from spaces between the cells. Contains blood plasma, dissolved proteins, salts & leucocytes. Lymph flows as a result of skeletal muscle contraction, intestinal & respiratory movements, and aided by contraction of smooth muscles in wall of lymph vessels (oneway valves)

The Lymphatic System

System of lymph nodes, lymph vessels, nodules & lymphoid tissue including thymus, spleen, tonsils & bone marrow. The main lymphatic vessels are the thoracic duct & the right lymphatic duct. Lymphatic vessels resemble veins with thinner walls, larger lumen & more valves.

Major Lymphatic Vessels

Thoracic duct
Receives lymph from left of head, neck & chest, the upper limb & entire body below the ribs Empties lymph into left subclavian vein back into blood

Right lymphatic duct

Receives lymph from right arm, shoulder area, & right side of the head & neck Empties lymph into right subclavian vein back into blood

Lymphatic Capillaries
Blind-ended tubes/ close at one end Located in the spaces between the cells IF which is not absorbed into bloodstream drains into these capillaries lymph Flow of lymph begins in the close-ended lymphatic capillaries.

The Lymph Nodes

LN are encapsulated masses of lymphatic tissue that are up to 25mm in diameter, with shape of an oval bean. Contain a lot of leucocytes (lymphocytes) that are embedded into a connective tissue. Filter out toxic substances. Serve as a place for production of phagocytes that engulf bacteria & poisonous substances.

Thymus & Spleen

Thymus is an unpaired organ, located in the middle extending up to the neck at the lower edge of thyroid with shape of 2 pyramid lobules. It serves as a location for lymphocytes before birth & starts to form a group of hormones at puberty. Spleen is the largest lymphatic organ which located lateral to the stomach.

Main Functions of Lymphatic System

It returns the interstitial fluid back to circulatory system maintain fluid balance in body. It absorbs fats from the intestine & transports them to blood. Provides defenses against disease causing organisms & abnormal cells.

Lymphatic & Circulatory

Fluid RBC
Platelets WBC Proteins Other solutes (ions, waste)

Blood /
/ / / (a lot) /

X / / (few) /

Lymph X
X / / (few) /

Diseases Related to LS
Swelling (edema) in arms & legs as IF accumulates

Result of extreme accumulation of fluid caused by a mosquito-borne parasite that invades the lymphatic system Can affect the genitals & breasts