The lymphatic system is one of the bodies main defenses against illness and infection. Some of the blood that has left the capillaries reenters the bloodstream via the lymphatic system. Blood reentering through the lymph system is called lymph because it does not contain oxygen and is a whitish fluid.
The network is filled with germ fighting lymphocyte cells and many checkpoints we commonly call lymph nodes. If foreign material is detected in the lymph nodes, the bodies defenses are activated by calling in specialized germ fighting B and T cells as well as antibodies. After the B and T cells eliminate bacteria and other invaders, the debris is swept up by the macrophage cells and removed from the body.
The B-cells mature in the bone marrow and the T-cells mature in the thymus gland. My daughter has type B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). This means that her B-cells don't properly mature. T-cell ALL is a similar type of Leukemia.
The lymph nodes in our armpits, groins and necks often swell when illness is present and can sometimes be felt.
The book The Way We Work by David Macaulay was filled with good information on the lymphatic system as was the Once Upon a Time Life, The Lymphatic System video linked below.
It took under one hour to create our simple model of the lymphatic system using yarn, beads, paper and tape.
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