Two organ systems transport substances throughout the internal environment. The cardiovascular (kahr3de-o-vas<ku-lur) system (fig. 1.14) includes the heart, arteries, capillaries, veins, and blood. The heart is a muscular pump that helps force blood through the blood vessels. Blood transports gases, nutrients, hormones, and wastes. It carries oxygen from the lungs and nutrients from the digestive organs to all body cells, where these substances are used in metabolic processes. Blood also transports hormones from endocrine glands to their target tissues and carries wastes from body cells to the excretory organs, where the wastes are removed from the blood and released to the outside. Blood and the cardiovascular system are discussed in chapters 14 and 15.

The lymphatic (lim-fat<jk) system (fig. 1.14) is sometimes considered part of the cardiovascular system. It is also involved with transport and is composed of the lymphatic vessels, lymph fluid, lymph nodes, thymus gland, and spleen. This system transports some of the fluid from the spaces within tissues (tissue fluid) back to the bloodstream and carries certain fatty substances away from the digestive organs. Cells of the lymphatic system are called lymphocytes, and they defend the body against infections by removing disease-causing microorganisms and viruses from the tissue fluid. The lymphatic system is discussed in chapter 16.

Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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