Physiology of spleen

  • The spleen is useful for the production antibodies against antigen present in blood and its the only organ that performs such functions. Other organs may produce antibodies against antigens seen or present in tissue.

  • The spleen produces large amounts of B and T lymphocytes through its white pulp.

  • It is the largest site for macrophage aggregations and phagocytic function in the body. It therefore removes old or bad blood cells and platelets.

  • It destroys bacteria and foreign organisms by a process of opsonization and also phagocytosis to include its function of producing antibodies

  • It stores about 33% of all  platelets in the entire body.

  • It is involved in hematopoiesis in the fetus and may be implicated in extramedullary hematopoesis in certain disease conditions in the adult.

  • The spleen serves in many lower animals, and to a little extent in man a reservoir for storing up blood which may then be released into circulation when it is required, as in sudden loss of blood etc.

Microcirculation in the spleen

  • The open system suggests that there is no continuity between the ellipsoids and the sinusoids.   Blood from the ellipsoids are discharged into the reticulum of the spleen from where they are absorbed into the sinusoids.

  • The compromise theory which suggests that both mechanisms take place.

  • The sinusoids make up the red pulp of the splenic pulp.   They are connected to the venules as per any of the mechanisms above and from the venules they discharge their blood into the splenic vein. The sinusoids are lined by special endothelial cells which are babana shaped and contain myofibrils that allow them to contract thereby opening up channels by which blood is discharged into the splenic substance. They are called stave cells. Red blood cell pass through the sinusoidal spaces. When they are old, they are unable to pass across and they are then destroyed by the splenic macrophagic system.




Locator spleen video


Microcirculation in the red pulp of spleen. This is the theory that has the largest followership.







Gross Anatomy

Lymphatic drainage
Organ integration
Clinical anatomy






Chemical Pathology

Anatomical Pathology




Main Subject Course Links

eAnatomy eAnesthesia eBiochemistry eChemical pathology eCommunity Health
eDermatology eENT eGynecology eHematology eImaging
eMedicine eMedical microbiology eObstetrics eOphthalmology ePathology
ePediatrics ePharmacology ePhysiology ePsychiatry    eSurgery/eOrthopedics
eLab eOSCE eProcedures eInvestigations eSchool/Videopage
eOrgans eLocator Anatomy Museum eDissector eFractures/Dissect-it-yourself
All diseases eClerking eTreatment eDoctor ePatient


Electronic School of Medicine
Creator: Oluwole Ogunranti