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White blood cells

Leukocytes or white blood cells are an important part of the immune system, which play a significant role in defending the organism against infections and foreign materials. They are also responsible for maintaining and improving the body’s resistance to harmful microorganisms, as well as for healing and repairing of the damaged tissues. Leukocytes are present in almost every part of the body but in much smaller amount than red blood cells, although they are somewhat larger than red blood cells. They are constantly produced so that the body does not lack them, and an interesting thing is that they have the ability to change there shape so that they can go through the bloodstream more easily. When the level of these blood cells is much higher than normal, the condition is known as leukocytosis, while lower level of white blood cells is known as leukopenia. Neither of these two situations is good, because unless the results show normal levels of white blood cells, then the person suffers from some diseases.

What types of white blood cells are there?

There are five types all different in size and function in the immune system of the body. Also, these blood cells can be divided into granulocytes, in which granules are present, and agranulocytes, in which no granules are present in their cytoplasm. The five types of white blood cells are:

Neutrophils, which contain four granules in the nucleus and which comprise from 50 to 70% of the total count of white blood cells in the blood. They stick to the walls of the blood vessels and they can be found near the area of injury or infection, or even in the pus of some wound. Eosinophils have to deal with parasites and toxins, but they are also of crucial importance in cases of allergic reactions and blood’s response to them. Even though it is still not clear how they work, the fact is that their number probably increases when the body detects the presence of allergens or microorganisms. Basophils cover only 1% of the total count of white blood cells in the blood, but they are the reason for the inflammation when a part of the body is exposed to warmth, pain or swelling. Monocytes are the largest in size, and they are responsible for preventing the germs that might be harmful from getting into the bloodstream. They also digest the dead or old body cells, thus helping in the removal of those that are no longer necessary for the body. Lymphocytes produce antibodies that work like antitoxins and help in protecting the body from toxins that bacteria release.

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