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The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that primarily consists of lymph vessels,lymph nodes and lymph. The tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus are all part of the lymphaticsystem. The lymphatic system performs the following functions:

1. Removes excess fluid and waste products from the interstitial spaces between the cells andreturns it into the bloodstream.

2. It also functions in transporting white blood cells to and from the lymph nodes into thebones, and antigen-presenting cells (APCs), such as dendritic cells, to the lymph nodes wherean immune response is stimulated.

3. Special lymph vessels (lacteals) absorb fat and fat-soluble vitamins from the small intestineand deliver these nutrients to the cells of the body where they are used by the cells.

4. Protects the body against germs. Lymph glands produce lymphocytes which produceantibodies that fight against microbes. They also contain phagocytes, which eat dead whitecells and microbes in the lymph.

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