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The Lymphatic System Essay

A. What was the purpose of doing this exercise? The purpose of this exercise was to learn about the lymphatic system and its components. We learned about lymph, structure and function of lymph nodes, T-Cells, B-Cells, and Macrophages, and differentiating between antigens and antibodies.

Exercise 1: Microscopic Anatomy of Lymphatic Structures

A. Sketch of Reticular Connective Tissue Slide (Lymph Node). Describe the structures you observed on the slide.

B. Sketch of Spleen Slide: Describe the structures you observed on the slide.

C. Sketch of Tonsil Slide: Describe the structures you observed on the slide.

D. Sketch of Thymus Slide: Describe the structures you observed on the slide.

Exercise 2: Immunity and the Immune Respose

A. Describe what happened to the red and green food coloring after 45 minutes. The food coloring spread throughout some of the dish.

B. Which sera was an antigen in section 2 of the dish? Describe what you observed in section 2 of the dish. After 3 days, there was no visible line of precipitation evident and therefore the result is inconclusive.

C. Which sera was the antigen in the “unknown” sample used in section 3 of the dish? Describe what you observed in section 3 of the dish.

After 3 days, there was no visible line of precipitation evident and therefore the result is inconclusive.

Picture of the Agar Plate After 3 Days

Questions Exercise 1: Microscopic Anatomy of Lymphatic Structures

A. How are lymph, lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes related? Lymph, lymphatic vessels and lymph nodes are all part of the lymphatic system. Lymph vessels carry lymph throughout the body. Throughout the vessles are lymph nodes which fight infection.

B. What are the two major functions of the lymph nodes? They clean and filter lymph before it goes back to the blood. They produce antibodies and lymphocytes.

C. What are the two functions of the spleen? It protects the body and helps to produce and store blood cells.

D. What is the function of the tonsils? They protect the body from harmful germs.

E. What are the structural similarities found in lymph nodes, spleen and tonsils? They all have a capsule and are rounded organs with an internal parenchyma of lymphoid cells.

Exercise 2: Immunity and the Immune Response

A. Explain what is meant by “memory” as a characteristic of the immune response. When the body comes in contact with a harmful antigen, it has a primary response, which remembers the antigen by creating memory cells. By the secondary response, the memory cells will counteract the antigen.

B. How does our immune response distinguish between our own cells and foreign invaders? A major histocompatibility complex is at the surface of each cell in our body. It is what recognizes if something is foreign or not, and lets the immune system know. B. What are lymphocytes and where are they produced? Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that protect the body from infection. They are produced in the bone marrow.

C. Distinguish between an antigen and an antibody. An antigen is a foreign material that enters the body, and an antibody is what recognizes the foreign material and helps fight it.


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