It is a type of fluid found in our body and is also involved in transportation. It is also called asTissue Fluid
How is Lymph Formed ?
- It is formed when some amount of plasma, proteins and blood cells escape into intercellular spaces in the tissues through the pores present in the walls of capillaries.
- Lymph from the intercellular spaces drains into lymphatic capillaries which further join to form large lymph vessels that finally open into larger veins.
- The lymph flows in these vessels due to contraction of the surrounding muscles. This again is a beneficial effect of physical exercise.
- The lymph vessels on the way drain lymph into lymph nodes from where fresh lymph channels arise and ultimately pour the lymph into the major anterior veins close to their entry into the right auricle, and is again in circulation.
Lymph is similar to plasma of blood but is colorless and contains less proteins.
Composition of Lymph :
Only leukocytes (mostly lymphocytes)(No RBCs and blood platelets)
Water – 94%.
Solids (proteins, fats, carbohydrates, enzymes,antibodies, etc.) – 6%.
Functions of Lymph
(i) Nutritive :
Supplies nutrition and oxygen to those parts where blood cannot reach.
(ii) Drainage :
It drains away excess tissue fluid and metabolites and returns proteins to the blood from tissue spaces.
(iii) Absorption :
Fats from the intestine are absorbed through lymphatics (lacteals locatedin the intestinal villi.)
(iv) Defense :
Lymphocytes and monocytes of the lymph function to defend the body.
The lymphatics also remove bacteria from the tissues.
Haven’t you ever experienced painfulswellings in your groins or in the axils of arms when you get a boil or injury in the limbs ?This is a protective sign. The lymph nodes tend to localize the infection and prevent it from spreading to the body as a whole.The tonsils on the sides of the neck are also lymph glands.