FRANCIS LEROY, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCIS LEROY, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spleen. Artwork showing the structure of the spleen and its blood vessels. The splenic artery (red, bottom) supplies blood and the splenic vein (blue, top) drains it. Situated on the left side of the upper abdomen, behind the stomach, the spleen is a large lymphoid organ of roughly oval shape. The interior consists of nodules of white pulp (white blood cells, bottom half) within a matrix of red pulp (top half). The red pulp is responsible for filtering blood by removing any foreign objects or worn out red blood cells. The white pulp contains immune system cells that respond to any pathogens in the blood.
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