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Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al. Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition. New York: Garland Science; 2002.

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Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition.

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Figure 24-14. The path followed by lymphocytes as they continuously circulate between the lymph and blood.

Figure 24-14The path followed by lymphocytes as they continuously circulate between the lymph and blood

The circulation through a lymph node is shown here. Microbial antigens are carried into the lymph node by dendritic cells, which enter via afferent lymphatic vessels draining an infected tissue. T and B cells, by contrast, enter the lymph node via an artery and migrate out of the bloodstream through postcapillary venules. Unless they encounter their antigen, the T and B cells leave the lymph node via efferent lymphatic vessels, which eventually join the thoracic duct. The thoracic duct empties into a large vein carrying blood to the heart. A typical circulation cycle takes about 12–24 hours.

From: Lymphocytes and the Cellular Basis of Adaptive Immunity

Copyright © 2002, Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and Peter Walter; Copyright © 1983, 1989, 1994, Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and James D. Watson .

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