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Which of the following is a function of the lymphatic system? a. collect and return lost fluid to...

Question:

Which of the following is a function of the lymphatic system?

a. collect and return lost fluid to the circulatory system

b. carry oxygen or hemoglobin molecules

c. absorb protein

d. exchange gases in the lungs

Three Major Functions of the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is a network of organs (e.g. lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, thymus) and vein-like vessels that penetrate nearly every tissue in the body. It has three major functions in the body: (1) fluid recovery, (2) lipid absorption from the digestive system and (3) immunity.

  1. Fluid Recovery: In order to understand the role of the lymphatic system in fluid recovery, it helps to understand what occurs at blood capillaries. Blood capillaries are the sites where fluid, nutrients, and waste are exchanged between the blood and space within tissues (i.e. interstitial space). At the arterial end of a blood capillary, fluid and solutes are filtered out of capillaries into the interstitial space, and at the venous end of a blood capillary, the fluid that was filtered out is reabsorbed back into the capillaries. However, the blood capillaries are only capable of reabsorbing about 85% of the fluid that was filtered out. What happens to the other 15% of the fluid that was filtered out of the blood? It is absorbed into vessels of the lymphatic system where it will be cleaned and then returned to the circulatory system. Therefore, the lymphatic system is essential in preventing fluid from accumulating in tissues. Parts of the body can swell if the lymphatic system is not functioning properly.
  2. Lipid Absorption: The lymphatic system also has a role in lipid absorption from the digestive system. All nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, etc.) are absorbed directly from the small intestines into the blood EXCEPT lipids. Lipids are first absorbed into the vessels of the lymphatic system before they are delivered to the blood.
  3. Immunity: The lymphatic system also has a role in immunity. The lymphatic organs house a significant amount of white blood cells that detect and destroy pathogens.

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Functions of the Lymphatic System

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Chapter 15 / Lesson 1
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In this lesson, you will learn about the lymphatic system and the vital role it plays in keeping the cardiovascular system working. You'll discover how the lymphatic system (with its lymphatic vessels and capillaries) quietly works in the background to return leaked fluids back to the blood.


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