Difference Between Immune System and Lymphatic System

Immune System vs Lymphatic System

Both lymphatic and immune systems are closely associated system in our body and are sometimes referred to as lymphatic-immune system. Immune system functions through cells of the lymphatic system and the products of the immune system are usually carried in the lymphatic vessels.

Lymphatic System

Lymphatic system is a collection of vessels, structures and organs that collect proteins and fluid and return it to the main circulation, thus maintaining the body’s fluid balance. It also traps foreign particles and provide immune cells for the defense. The system is mainly composed of lymph vessels and lymph nodes, distributed through the body as a network.

The primary function of lymph vessels are to carry lymph from peripheral tissues to veins of the cardiovascular system, and that of lymph nodes are to monitor the consumption of lymph, act as the site that engulf pathogens, and carry out immune response. Other than these two components, spleen and thymus are also associated with the lymphatic system. The fluid drained by this system is known as lymph, which is a clear fluid that contains plasma proteins of blood except larger proteins. Lymphatic system returns blood by means of two main vessels, namely; thoracic duct and right lymphatic duct.

Immune System

The immune system provides long term immunity to certain diseases and defends against bacterial and viral invasions. The cells and other agents of this system are located in the lymphatic system including, lymph nodes, spleen, tonsils, and other lymph- associated organs. Immune system is composed of a complex series of cells, chemical factors, and organs. The stem cells of bone marrow develop into the cells of the immune system during the fetal stage of human development. There are two special types of cells responsible for immune activities, namely B-lymphocytes and T- lymphocytes.

Since, the immune system does not have organs, it is known as a population of B and T cells that are resided in the mucosa membranes, lymphatic organs, and other localities in the body. There are two types of immunity carried out by the immune system; humoral immunity and cell-mediated immunity. Humoral immunity is carried out by B-lymphocytes and antibodies, whereas cell-mediated immunity is carried out by cytotoxic T-lymphocytes.

What is the difference between Immune System and Lymphatic System?

• The main functions of lymphatic systems are fluid recovery, immunity, and lipid absorption, whereas that of the immune system is to provide long term immunity and defend against foreign substances by activating immune responses.

• Unlike the lymphatic system, immune system does not have specific anatomy.

• Lymphatic system is an organ system, unlike immune system.

• Lymphatic system is composed of lymph nodes, lymph vessels, and other related organs while the immune system is made up of basically B and T lymphocytes.

• Immune system is mainly associated with nervous and endocrine systems, whereas lymphatic system is associated with the cardiovascular system.

• The products of the immune system are transported in the lymphatic system.