In multicellular organisms, the lymphatic system plays a vital role, as it is responsible for performing multiple interrelated functions. The lymphatic system consists of many parts, which are involved in different functions. For example, It is responsible for draining the lymph fluid from the tissues.
Let’s learn more about the lymph, its compositions and its functions in the human body.
In animals and human beings, the extracellular fluid that is present within the tissue cells comprises of all the body fluids. This extracellular fluid is divided into interstitial fluid and plasma.
Interstitial fluid may be defined as a solution, which surrounds the tissue and cells in the body. It consists of small water-soluble substances, which flows in between the tissue cells. Both plasma and interstitial fluid are similar due to the continuous exchange of small solutes, water and ions across the capillary walls of the tissues.
The functions of interstitial fluid are as follows:
- It is used in transporting nutrients to the cells.
- It is used to provide intercellular communication between the cells.
- It is used in removing the metabolic wastes from the cells.
The required amount of interstitial fluid is collected by the lymphatic system and the rest is drained out. The drained fluid moves back into the major vein and the remaining fluid which is collected through the lymph capillaries is called as lymph. Lymph can be defined as a clear and colorless fluid, which circulates all the way through the lymphatic system and then enters into the lymph nodes through the lymph vessels.
Composition of the Lymph
Lymph consists of the following components:
- Proteins – Albumin, globulin, and fibrinogen.
- Non-protein nitrogenous substance.
- Water – 94%.
- Very low amount of fat.
Functions of the Lymph
The functions of the lymph are as follows:
- It is used to supply nutrients to the body.
- It is used to remove the metabolic wastes from the tissue cells.
- It is used in maintaining the composition of tissue fluid.
- It helps in invading the entry of pathogenic infections caused by microorganisms.
- It is used in absorbing the fats from the small intestine through lymphatic vessels.
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