Connection lost. Please refresh the page.
Get help How to study Login Register
Ready to learn?
Pick your favorite study tool


Recommended video: Duodenum histology [19:05]
Histological features of the duodenum.

Lacteals are blunt‐ended lymphatic vessels located centrally in the intestinal villi which are responsible for absorbing dietary lipids in the small intestine.

The absorbed lipid, known as chyle, is then drained from the mucosa of the small intestine into the surrounding lymphatic plexuses that run within the intestinal walls.

In addition to having nutrient absorption responsibilities, lacteals also facilitate the transportation of antigen and antigen-presenting cells and thus have a role in generating a gut immune response.

On average, there may be two lacteals in the each villus in the duodenum and proximal jejunum, whereas other villi of the small intestine tend to only have one lacteal in their center. From the proximal duodenum to the distal ileum, the length of the lacteals shortens gradually as the villus lengths decreases as well.

Terminology English: Lacteal
Synonym: Central lymphatic vessel

: Vas lymphaticum centrale
Definition Lacteals are the central blunt‐ended long lymphatic vessels located in the intestinal villi that absorb dietary lipids in the small intestine.

Keen to learn more about the histological structure of the different sections in the small intestine? Then dive straight into the following study unit:

Lacteal: want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

What do you prefer to learn with?

“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more.

Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver
© Unless stated otherwise, all content, including illustrations are exclusive property of Kenhub GmbH, and are protected by German and international copyright laws. All rights reserved.

Register now and grab your free ultimate anatomy study guide!