Name the primary and secondary lymphoid organs.


Lymphoid organs are the organs where lymphocyte origin, maturation, and proliferation occurs. There are two types of lymphoid organs they are primary lymphoid organs and secondary lymphoid organs

Primary lymphoid organs

The origin of lymphocytes occurs inside primary lymphoid organs. Those involve the thymus and the bone marrow.

  • 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

Upon maturation, the lymphocytes move to a secondary lymphoid organ such as the spleen, lymph nodes, tonsils, small intestine and appendix patches of the payer. They include the sites for antigens to interact with lymphocytes.

  • 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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