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The spleen, an organ located near the stomach, is an organ that acts as a blood filter. It removes old red blood cells or erythrocytes, from the circulation. It can then recycle iron from these cells by metabolizing the heme portion of the hemoglobin and making bilirubin. This is transported to the liver for removal. It can also make new antibodies and remove old antibodies and the bacteria they coat. This is an immune system function and takes place in the white pulp of the spleen. The spleen contains efferent lymph vessels which lead to the veins eventually. The spleen is part of the lymphatic system. One can live without their spleen however, it can cause diminished responsive to some vaccines, susceptibility to some bacteria and protozoa infectons and slight increases in white blood cells and platelets.
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