Difference Between Primary Lymphoid Organs and Secondary Lymphoid Organs

The human body has a fluid called the lymph, which is formed when the interstitial fluid is collected through tiny lymph capillaries located throughout the body. Lymph is then transported through the lymph vessels and eventually to the lymph nodes, cleaning and filtering it. Within this system lies primary lymphoid organs and the secondary lymphoid organs.

Difference Between Secondary Lymphoid Organs and Primary Lymphoid Organs

These primary and secondary organs perform many functions which are crucial for the immune system. Read on to explore their functions and discover how they are different from each other.

Primary Lymphoid Organ

  • This is the site where lymphocytes are produced and mature.
  • It is also the location where stem cells differentiate and mature into B and T cells
  • Humans have two primary lymphatic organs – the thymus gland and the red bone marrow
  • B and T cells are formed in the bone marrow
  • B cells mature in the bone marrow while T cells mature once they migrate to the thymus.

Secondary Lymphoid Organs

  • Secondary lymphoid organs serve as a sort of “monitoring station” for the contents of the extracellular fluids – such as the blood, lymph and tissue fluid.
  • It is also the location where the lymphocytes are activated.
  • Examples of secondary lymphoid organs include the spleen, tonsils, lymph nodes, and Peyer’s patches.

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