What is an organ system?

Definition of an Organ System

The organs of our bodies work together in what are known as organ systems.  A good example of a system is the circulatory system.  This is composed of the heart and all of our blood vessels.  They work together to bring oxygen and food to all of our cells.  Another system is the respiratory system that uses the lungs to obtain oxygen for transport by the circulatory system.

definition of an organ system

Organ systems often involve different organs.  For example, the digestive system involves the stomach, small and large intestines, liver and pancreas.  These organs work together to convert the food we eat into energy our bodies can use.

Sometimes we see disorders affect organ systems.  Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one example.  In MS we see certain cells that make up a tissue called myelin stop functioning.  The myelin coats nerves and helps them send conduct their signals.  When myelin tissue is damaged, the nerve cells do not conduct the signal well and the nervous system no longer functions normally.  This is an example where fixing the problem within a cell would repair a tissue and improve the function of an organ (the brain) and a system (the nervous system).