Lymphatic system

  • lymphatic system
  • A system of vessels and nodes conveying lymph in the vertebrate body, beginning with capillaries in tissue spaces and eventually forming the thoracic ducts which empty in the subclavian veins.
Abstract from DBPedia
    The lymphatic system, or lymphoid system, is an organ system in vertebrates that is part of the immune system, and complementary to the circulatory system. It consists of a large network of lymphatic vessels, lymph nodes, lymphatic or lymphoid organs, and lymphoid tissues. The vessels carry a clear fluid called lymph (the Latin word lympha refers to the deity of fresh water, "Lympha") back towards the heart, for re-circulation. Unlike the circulatory system that is a closed system, the lymphatic system is open. The human circulatory system processes an average of 20 litres of blood per day through capillary filtration, which removes plasma from the blood. Roughly 17 litres of the filtered blood is reabsorbed directly into the blood vessels, while the remaining three litres are left in the interstitial fluid. One of the main functions of the lymphatic system is to provide an accessory return route to the blood for the surplus three litres. The other main function is that of immune defense. Lymph is very similar to blood plasma, in that it contains waste products and cellular debris, together with bacteria and proteins. The cells of the lymph are mostly lymphocytes. Associated lymphoid organs are composed of lymphoid tissue, and are the sites either of lymphocyte production or of lymphocyte activation. These include the lymph nodes (where the highest lymphocyte concentration is found), the spleen, the thymus, and the tonsils. Lymphocytes are initially generated in the bone marrow. The lymphoid organs also contain other types of cells such as stromal cells for support. Lymphoid tissue is also associated with mucosas such as mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT). Fluid from circulating blood leaks into the tissues of the body by capillary action, carrying nutrients to the cells. The fluid bathes the tissues as interstitial fluid, collecting waste products, bacteria, and damaged cells, and then drains as lymph into the lymphatic capillaries and lymphatic vessels. These vessels carry the lymph throughout the body, passing through numerous lymph nodes which filter out unwanted materials such as bacteria and damaged cells. Lymph then passes into much larger lymph vessels known as lymph ducts. The right lymphatic duct drains the right side of the region and the much larger left lymphatic duct, known as the thoracic duct, drains the left side of the body. The ducts empty into the subclavian veins to return to the blood circulation. Lymph is moved through the system by muscle contractions. In some vertebrates, a lymph heart is present that pumps the lymph to the veins. The lymphatic system was first described in the 17th century independently by Olaus Rudbeck and Thomas Bartholin.

    脊椎動物において、リンパ系(リンパけい、英: lymphatic system)とは、リンパ液と呼ばれる清明な液を運搬する導管ネットワークである。リンパ液が通過するリンパ組織もこれに含まれる。リンパ節を筆頭としてリンパ組織が見出される器官は多く、扁桃腺のように消化管に付随したリンパ濾胞もその一つである。リンパ系はまた脾臓、胸腺、骨髄、消化管に付随したリンパ組織といったリンパ球の循環や産生を行う全ての構造を含む。今日われわれがリンパ系と言っているものはルドベックとバートリンが初めて独立に記述した。 血液の溶解成分は体内の細胞や組織に直接混ざり合うことはない。まず組織液と混ざり、次に細胞に入る。リンパ液とはリンパ管に流れ込んだ組織液のことである。哺乳類においてはリンパ液は心臓で駆動する血液のようにポンプで体内を流れるわけではなく、おおよそ弁で逆流を妨げられたリンパ管に骨格筋の収縮による圧力が加わることで一定の方向に流動する。しかし、両生類や爬虫類においてはと呼ばれるリンパ系のポンプ器官がリンパ液を駆動している。 リンパ系には3つの相互に関連した機能がある。組織から組織液を取り除く働きが1つ。吸収された脂肪酸と脂質を乳糜として循環系まで運ぶ働きが1つ(胸管)。最後に、単球や、抗体産生細胞などのリンパ球をはじめとする免疫細胞を産生する働きである(胸腺)。 様々な器官のリンパ排液についての研究は、がんの診断と治療の点から重要である。リンパ系は体内の多くの組織に物理的に近いところに位置しているため、体内の様々な部位の間で転移と呼ばれるプロセスを起こしてがん細胞を運んでしまう。がん細胞はリンパ節を通過するからそこで捕らえることができる。もしそこでがん細胞を破壊できないなら今度はリンパ節が2次性腫瘍の病巣となる恐れがある。 リンパ系に病気や何らかの異常が起きると、腫脹や他の症状が現れる。リンパ系の異常は体の感染症への抵抗力を損なう。