Functions of Lymphatic System
Human lymphatic system works as an accessory and complementary mechanism for the proper execution of the functions assigned to three other systems in the body: cardiovascular system; lymphoid system; and immune system. So, you can draw a conclusion that none of these three mechanisms can work on its own effectively and each needs the other as an integral part. Some of the most important lymphatic system functions are being briefly described as under:
Removal of Interstitial Fluid
One of the major tasks assigned to the lymphatic system in your body is to remove the interstitial fluids out of the lymphoid tissues. Such fluids are received by capillaries and are collected in the form of lymph which is then emptied into the circulatory system after passing through the vessels, ducts and nodes.
In the process of lymphocyte transportation, white blood cells (WBCs) are taken from the bone marrow and are delivered to various check or filtration points in the body, called lymph nodes.
Role in Immunity
As you know that lymphatic system serves the purpose of carrying WBCs from the bone marrow towards nodes, it confirms their great role in immunity. Lymphocytes are considered as the military force of the body to defend against the enemies (germs) which attack different organs and cause serious disorders. So, the harmful germs and viruses are destroyed by these white battalions in the body.
Absorption of Fats and Fatty Acids
The excessive amount of fatty acids and fat molecules in the circulatory system is absorbed by the lymphatic system, and these substances are accumulated in the form of chyle. Here the word “chyle” refers to a milky liquid consisting of lymph and emulsified fat molecules. The formation of chyle takes place in the small intestine during the digestive process of fatty acids.
Transport of APCs
The task of transporting APCs (Antigen Presenting Cells), also called accessory cells, towards the lymph nodes is also accomplished by the lymph circulatory system. These accessory cells display foreign antigens through specialized molecules bound on their surface, called MHCs (Major Histocompatibility Complexes). The T-cells present in the lymph nodes can easily recognize these complexes with the help of their TCRs (T-cell Receptors).