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Compare the structures and functions of the five different types of white blood cells?

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3 Answers

Hi, Ryan :) 
 
This is a very common question in both Biology and Immunology! 
 
The bottom line is this: 
 
ALL White Blood Cells (WBCs) are knows as LEUOKOCYTES. (P.S> Essentially "cytes" just means "cells" )
 
There are two different branches of LEUOKOCYTES (again, WBCs) 
 
The first ones are GRANULOCYTES~ as their name implies, they have GRANULES in their cytoplasm when they are stained : 
 
These are : 
  • BASOPHILS ` low amount , usually for inflammation 
  • EOSINOPHILS ` low amount , usually parasite infections
  • NEUTROPHILS ` MOST ABUNDANT, FIRST RESPONSE to INFECTION  or INFLAMMATION (also called PMNs..or polymorphonuclear lymphocytes!) 
These are all a part of our INNATE (or INSTINCTIVE ) immunity...this means it happens right off, doesn't last long and is the first line of defense! 
 
The second branch is the AGRANULOCYTES...you guessed it! NO GRANULES in their cytoplasm when stained! 
 
Two primary groups: 
 
  • Lymphocytes ` these are the T cells and B cells (T cells are attack cells, B cells produce antibodies to infections!) These are part of our ADAPTIVE IMMUNITY..this means that our body adapts to the foreign materials, or pathogens, and finds a way to get rid of them. (It also gives us immunity) 
 
  • Monocytes.. the second AGRANULOCYTE, .can become activated Macrophages, which EAT and destroy the pathogens! This is part of the INNATE immunity. These are REALLY big..I tell students to call them the "MAC ATTACK" 
This may be more than you needed, but good luck! 
 
Best regards, 
Dr Bekah 
Hi Ryan,
 
 
There are five different kinds of white blood cells or WBC:
 
neutrophils:  faint pink in color, multi-lobed nucleus, fight bacterial infection, found primarily in spleen.
 
eosinophils: pink in color, bi-lobed nuclei, fight parasitic infection, respond to allergic conditions
 
basophils: Large in size, bi-lobed or tri-lobed nuclei, blue in color, release histamines and respond to   inflammation
 
lymphocytes: primarily two types, release antibodies, responsible for providing immunity to body, blue
 
monocytes: have large kidney shaped nucleus, migrate from blood to other tissues and can differentiate into specific cell types required for that tissue.
 
Hope this helps
Hi Ryan;
This is everything I know about white blood cells.
 
When I was hospitalized ten years ago, many tests were run.  The blood test resulted in a high white blood cell count.  According to my doctor, that meant my body was fighting an infection.  However, he did not state what kind.  I have done some personal research.  It is my understanding that the nature of the test indicates whether or not I was fighting a bacterial infection.  However, there was, and still is, no blood test to verify if my body was fighting a viral infection.
 
As you prepare your answers for your instructor, please do not use the terms viralbacterial, as well as parasitical infections interchangeably.  These are very different medical concepts.