Neutrophil Granulocytes

Neutrophil Basic Facts:
  • Generally referred to as neutrophils.
  • Most abundant type of white blood cells in mammals.
  • Important part of the innate immune system.
  • Included with basophils and eosinophils in the polymorphonuclear cell family.
  • Typical staining characteristic with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) histological stain - neutral pink.
  • The neutrophil nucleus is subdivided into 2-5 lobes.
  • The cells have an average diameter of 12-15 micrometers (µm).
  • The normal count level in the blood is between 2.5-7.5 x 109/L.
  • The half-life of non-activated neutrophils in the circulation is around half a day.
Neutrophils contain 3 types of granules:
  • Azurophilic granules (or "primary granules") - containg defensins, myeloperoxidase, bactericidal-permeability increasing protein (BPI), neutrophil elastase and cathepsin G.
  • Specific granules (or "secondary granules") - containing lactoferrin & cathelicidin.
  • Tertiary granules - containing cathepsin & gelatinase.
Clinical Features:
  • Neutrophils are the first responders in tissue inflammation.
  • They undergo chemotaxis in response to chemical signals such as interleukin-8 (IL-8), interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), C5a and TNF-alpha.
  • Neutrophils are the major constituents of pus.
  • The presence of neutrophils in tissues is the hallmark of inflammation.
  • They also express & release cytokines that further amplify an inflammatory process.
Image Credit - Photos by murison (cc)

Posted by ALCHEssMIST.
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