Lymphatic organs and tissues
The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs in the body that play a critical role in the immune system and in the transport of lymph, a clear fluid that contains immune cells, throughout the body. The lymphatic system includes a number of organs and tissues, including:
- Lymph nodes: Small, bean-shaped structures located throughout the body that filter lymph and contain immune cells that help to identify and eliminate foreign substances.
- Spleen: An organ located in the upper left abdomen that filters blood and helps to identify and eliminate foreign substances and damaged cells.
- Thymus: A gland located in the chest that produces T-cells, a type of white blood cell that plays a critical role in the immune response.
- Bone marrow: A spongy tissue located in the bones that produces red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
- Tonsils: Small masses of tissue located in the throat that contain immune cells and help to protect against respiratory infections.
- Adenoids: Similar to tonsils, but located in the back of the nasal cavity.
- Peyer’s patches: Clusters of lymphoid tissue located in the small intestine that help to identify and eliminate pathogens and foreign substances in the digestive system.
- Appendix: A small, tube-like organ located at the junction of the small and large intestines that is thought to play a role in immune function.
Disorders of the lymphatic system can lead to a range of health problems, including lymphedema, lymphoma, and autoimmune diseases. Treatment for lymphatic disorders depends on the specific condition and may include medications, surgery, or other therapies.