Violet Marrow Biography & Facts
White blood cells, also called leukocytes or leucocytes, are the cells of the immune system that are involved in protecting the body against both infectious disease and foreign invaders. All white blood cells are produced and derived from multipotent cells in the bone marrow known as hematopoietic stem cells. Leukocytes are found throughout the body, including the blood and lymphatic system.All white blood cells have nuclei, which distinguishes them from the other blood cells, the anucleated red blood cells (RBCs) and platelets. The different white blood cells are usually classified by cell lineage (myeloid cells or lymphoid cells).
White blood cells are part of the body's immune system. They help the body fight infection and other diseases. Types of white blood cells are granulocytes (neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils), and agranulocytes (monocytes, and lymphocytes (T cells and B cells)).Myeloid cells (myelocytes) include neutrophils, eosinophils, mast cells, basophils, and monocytes. Monocytes are further subdivided into dendritic cells and macrophages. Monocytes and neutrophils are phagocytic.
Lymphoid cells (lymphocytes) include T cells (subdivided into helper T cells, memory T cells, cytotoxic T cells), B cells (subdivided into plasma cells and memory B cells), and natural killer cells.
Historically, white blood cells were classified by their physical characteristics (granulocytes and agranulocytes), but this classification system is less frequently used now.
Produced in the bone marrow, they defend your body against infections and disease. But, when there are too many white blood cells, it usually means you have infection or inflammation in your body. Less commonly, a high white blood cell count could indicate certain blood cancers or bone marrow disorders.
The number of leukocytes in the blood is often an indicator of disease, and thus the white blood cell count is an important subset of the complete blood count. The normal white cell count is usually between 4 × 109/L and 1.1 × 1010/L. In the US, this is usually expressed as 4,000 to 11,000 white blood cells per microliter of blood. White blood cells make up approximately 1% of the total blood volume in a healthy adult, making them substantially less numerous than the red blood cells at 40% to 45%. However, this 1% of the blood makes a large difference to health, because immunity depends on it. An increase in the number of leukocytes over the upper limits is called leukocytosis. It is normal when it is part of healthy immune responses, which happen frequently. It is occasionally abnormal, when it is neoplastic or autoimmune in origin. A decrease below the lower limit is called leukopenia. This indicates a weakened immune system.
The name "white blood cell" derives from the physical appearance of a blood sample after centrifugation. White cells are found in the buffy coat, a thin, typically white layer of nucleated cells between the sedimented red blood cells and the blood plasma. The scientific term leukocyte directly reflects its description. It is derived from the Greek roots leuk- meaning "white" and cyt- meaning "cell". The buffy coat may sometimes be green if there are large amounts of neutrophils in the sample, due to the heme-containing enzyme myeloperoxidase that they produce.
All white blood cells are nucleated, which distinguishes them from the anucleated red blood cells and platelets. Types of leukocytes can be classified in standard ways. Two pairs of broadest categories classify them either by structure (granulocytes or agranulocytes) or by cell lineage (myeloid cells or lymphoid cells). These broadest categories can be further divided into the five main types: neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes. These types are distinguished by their physical and functional characteristics. Monocytes and neutrophils are phagocytic. Further subtypes can be classified.
Granulocytes are distinguished from agranulocytes by their nucleus shape (lobed versus round, that is, polymorphonuclear versus mononuclear) and by their cytoplasm granules (present or absent, or more precisely, visible on light microscopy or not thus visible). The other dichotomy is by lineage: Myeloid cells (neutrophils, monocytes, eosinophils and basophils) are distinguished from lymphoid cells (lymphocytes) by hematopoietic lineage (cellular differentiation lineage). Lymphocytes can be further classified as T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells.
Neutrophils are the most abundant white blood cell, constituting 60-70% of the circulating leukocytes. They defend against bacterial or fungal infection. They are usually first responders to microbial infection; their activity and death in large numbers form pus. They are commonly referred to as polymorphonuclear (PMN) leukocytes, although, in the technical sense, PMN refers to all granulocytes. They have a multi-lobed nucleus, which consists of three to five lobes connected by slender strands. This gives the neutrophils the appearance of having multiple nuclei, hence the name polymorphonuclear leukocyte. The cytoplasm may look transparent because of fine granules that are pale lilac when stained. Neutrophils are active in phagocytosing bacteria and are present in large amount in the pus of wounds. These cells are not able to renew their lysosomes (used in digesting microbes) and die after having phagocytosed a few pathogens. Neutrophils are the most common cell type seen in the early stages of acute inflammation. The average lifespan of inactivated human neutrophils in the circulation has been reported by different approaches to be between 5 and 135 hours.
Eosinophils compose about 2-4% of white blood cells in circulating blood. This count fluctuates throughout the day, seasonally, and during menstruation. It rises in response to allergies, parasitic infections, collagen diseases, and disease of the spleen and central nervous system. They are rare in the blood, but numerous in the mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive, and lower urinary tracts.They primarily deal with parasitic infections. Eosinophils are also the predominant inflammatory cells in allergic reactions. The most important causes of eosinophilia include allergies such as asthma, hay fever, and hives; and parasitic infections. They secrete chemicals that destroy large parasites, such as hookworms and tapeworms, that are too big for any one white blood cell to phagocytize. In general, their nuclei are bi-lobed. The lobes are connected by a thin strand. The cytoplasm is full of granules that assume a characteristic pink-orange color with eosin staining.
Basophils are chiefly responsible for allergic and antigen response by releasing the chemical histamine causing the dilation of blood vessels. Because they are the rarest of the white blood cells (less than 0.5% of the total count) and share physicochemical properties with oth.... Discover the Violet Marrow popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Violet Marrow books.