LEUKOCYTES: WHAT ARE THEY?


A leukocyte is a white blood cell (WBC). There are MANY different types of leukocytes that do many different things. Neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes and monocytes, each responsible for a different process, whether that be fighting off bacteria, reducing cellular signalling via certain enzymes and hormones.

NEUTROPHILS:

Are the first cell to ever respond to an injury or injurious agent. What a neutrophil does is hunt down this injury or injurious agent and coats any microbe/bacteria in an enzyme that signals to cells to perform phagocytosis on this particular particle. What neutrophils also produce is oxygen radicals, bactericidal and produce cytokines.

EOSINOPHILS:

These WBC appear at the site of injury between 48-72hours post injury. They are bactericidal, meaning they fight off any microbes of bacteria within the site of injury. These particular WBC's however, play a crucial role in a parasitic defence within the site of injury; they release a destructive enzyme that slowly weakens and breaks down the parasite. This cells is particularly prominent in allergic reactions!

BASOPHILS:

These cells are baby mast cells. They contain little granules of histamine to be released at the site of injury.

MAST CELLS:

Is a component of connective tissue - which is what the dermis of the skin is made up of. These cells contain hormones like histamine, serotonin, heparin and bradykinin.

MACROPHAGES:

Are extremely bactericidal so they are largely responsible for reducing bacteria, damaged cells and waste from the site of injury, as well as the production of cytokines.

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