Does the lymphatic system bind oxygen to hemoglobin? Does it return fluids to the circulatory system?
Hemoglobin in the circulatory system binds oxygen, while the lymphatic system returns tissue fluids to the circulatory system.
Two of the major functions of the lymphatic system are to:
- Maintain fluid balance in the body and
- Return materials to the blood
As blood circulates through the body, plasma leaks into tissues through the walls of the capillaries.
The lymphatic system removes this fluid, now called lymph, from tissues.
Lymph is transported along a system of vessels by muscle contractions, with valves preventing lymph from flowing backward.
At intervals along the lymphatic vessels, there are small masses of tissue, called lymph nodes, that remove foreign materials such as infectious microorganisms from the lymph filtering through them.
Finally, the purified and filtered lymph fluid returns to the bloodstream, thus preventing a fluid imbalance that could result in death.