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A thin-walled lymphatic vessel at the beginning of a branch of the lymphatic system. Lymphatic capillaries have closed ends, but have no basement membranes and are more permeable than blood capillaries. Fluids, salts, proteins, large molecules, particles, debris, microorganisms, and migrating cells can pass from the interstitial spaces into lymphatic capillaries. Lymphatic capillaries lead to larger lymphatics that transport the lymph to lymph nodes. See: illustration
See also: capillary