The lymphatic system

fromation of bood cells and transport of immune cells

The bone marrow forms a specialized stem cell connective tissue that fills the cavities of most bones. Its major function is the formation of blood cells (hematopoiesis). One of the functions of the lymphatic system is the transport of immune cells, pathogens and other immunogenic substances.


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Bone marrow

place of origin of the blood cells



The basic structure of the bone marrow consists of fibroblastic reticulum cells, which form a mechanically coherent network in which the precursors of the blood cells are found. In addition to the reticulum cells, there are fat cells as placeholders in the bone marrow. Depending on the volume of reticulum cells and fat cells, bone marrow is divided into red and yellow bone marrow. Blood formation starts in a small population of multipotent hematopoietic stem cells in the red bone marrow, from which all cell divisions originate. Although these cells are capable of division, they have little division activity, are undifferentiated and capable of self-renewal throughout life. The cells arising from the hematopoietic stem cells lose the capacity for self-renewal in the course of this strong proliferation and with each further division their differentiation possibilities decrease (committed progenitor cells, CFU). Stage-specific combinations of various surface molecules, including CD45 isoforms, can be used to detect stages of cell differentiation.

Lymphoid tissue

removal of cell residues, microorganisms and foreign substances


The lymphatic vascular system is hierarchically divided into lymph capillaries, vessels and trunks, with lymph nodes interposed in the lymphatic vascular system. The lymphatic system forms an extensive network in which the tubes end blindly. The main functions of the lymphatic system include the absorption of interstitial fluid and its return to the bloodstream, the transport of fats absorbed in the intestine into the blood, and the transport of immune cells, pathogens and other immunogenic substances. Although lymphatic capillaries are closed, they are permeable to dissolved fats, proteins, microorganisms and foreign substances in the interstitium (space between organs). When fluid enters the lymphatic capillaries from the interstitium, it is called lymph. The transport pathway from the interstitium to the lymph capillaries provides a functional drainage system and contributes to the regulation of local fluid balance. The lymph nodes are intermediate filter stations in the lymphatic vascular system, in which lymphocytes are located that are searching for antigens. Important detection markers for lymphocytes, such as T and B lymphocytes, are CD43, CD8 and CD21.

Clinical significance

Common bone marrow diseases are leukemia and multiple myeloma and often require stem cell transplants. A specific disease of the lymphatic system is elephantiasis and lymphoma caused by threadworms. In research and science, the marker CD138 is important for the detection of lymphoma cells and malignant plasma cells.


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