Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 683
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.

VIII. The Lymphatic System
1. Introduction
  THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM consists (1) of complex capillary networks which collect the lymph in the various organs and tissues; (2) of an elaborate system of collecting vessels which conduct the lymph from the capillaries to the large veins of the neck at the junction of the internal jugular and subclavian veins, where the lymph is poured into the blood stream; and (3) lymph glands or nodes which are interspaced in the pathways of the collecting vessels filtering the lymph as it passes through them and contributing lymphocytes to it. The lymphatic capillaries and collecting vessels are lined throughout by a continuous layer of endothelial cells, forming thus a closed system. The lymphatic vessels of the small intestine receive the special designation of lacteals or chyliferous vessels; they differ in no respect from the lymphatic vessels generally excepting that during the process of digestion they contain a milk-white fluid, the chyle.

FIG. 592– Scheme showing relative positions of primary lymph sacs based on the description given by Florence Sabin. (See enlarged image)

The Development of the Lymphatic Vessels.—The lymphatic system begins as a series of sacs 1 at the points of junction of certain of the embryonic veins. These lymph-sacs are developed by the confluence of numerous venous capillaries, which at first lose their connections with the venous system, but subsequently, on the formation of the sacs, regain them. The lymphatic system is therefore developmentally an offshoot of the venous system, and the lining walls of its vessels are always endothelial.
  In the human embryo the lymph sacs from which the lymphatic vessels are
Note 1.  Sabin, Am. Jour. Anat., 1909, vol. ix; Johns Hopkins Hospital Reports, 1913. [back]


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