Granulocytes, white blood cells, are important in our immune system’s fight against infection. Their morphology is distinctive, with large cytoplasmic and bilobed nuclei. They are involved in both adaptive and innate immune responses. They migrate to the site of infection, releasing antigens and effector molecules to fight infection. They are also involved in allergic reactions.
A high level of granulocytes can indicate infection, cancer, or even an autoimmune condition. Granulocytosis can also be a sign that there are bone marrow disorders, such as primary myelofibrosis or chronic myelogousleukemia. The cause of granulocytosis is not known for certain, but it’s possible to get a high count if you have a condition that affects the bone marrow.
Granulocytes are part of the body’s defense against infection and parasites. They have IgE receptors that increase blood flow to the area of infection. Lymphocytes are smaller than monocytes, and have more free ribosomes. They differ from monocytes in terms of the number of cytoplasmic and vacuoles. Most lymphocytes can be activated.
Isolated granulocytes contain granules, which stain positively for many enzymes and dyes. This allows simple detection of polymorphonuclear neutrophils. Some fish species have even raised specific monoclonal antibodies against neutrophils. These antibodies can be used to isolate neutrophils from high purity populations by magnetic cell sorting or flourescent activated cell kinding.
Granulocytes play an important role in the immune system defense. They are also used for transfusion. Granulocyte blood products are given to patients with defective granulocytes or neutropenic patients with life-threatening infections. Only when a clinical need is recognized, they are collected. Donors stimulated with dexamethasone and G-CSF are eligible to donate granulocyte blood products. They must be irradiated before transfusion. The high concentration of neutrophils can lead to hypoxia.
The number of granulocytes increases with the decrease in lymphocytes. Moreover, the kidney and spleen produce a high proportion of granulocytes. They average between three to six thousand cells per milliliter blood. This means that granulocytes represent approximately 60 to 70% of all white blood cells. In the spleen and kidney, neutrophils make up more than 70 percent of the entire white blood cells in the blood.
Basophils are the only cells in the white blood that contain histamine. This is what causes common allergy symptoms such as runny nose and itchy eyes. They function similarly to mast cells, which are found in the connective tissues. Basophils release histamine to detect infection or other threats. They are important in the immune system and can detect early signs of cancer. It is therefore important to be able to identify these cells.