White blood cells characteristic and function

To determine the deviations, a general analysis is necessary. The amount of wbc in the analysis should be marked with numbers. To correctly determine the level of white blood cells, it is necessary to carry out the procedure on an empty stomach. Fatty and fried foods should be excluded from the diet in advance. It is strictly forbidden to take medicines. 2-3 days before the analysis, it is recommended to exclude all physical activity.

Also, a recent illness in the form of a sore throat, cold, flu can affect the result. In most cases, such diseases can be treated with antibiotics, which affect the body’s immune system. During decryption, absolutely all inflammatory processes that occur in the human body can be detected. General analysis may reveal

  • Neoplasms;
  • Inflammatory subcutaneous processes;
  • Otitis;
  • Internal bleeding;
  • Meningitis;
  • Bronchitis;
  • Abdominal inflammation;
  • Renal failure;

A detailed blood test shows the percentage of all subspecies of particles.

Lowering the level of white cells below 4×109 / l is called leukopenia.

Reasons for reducing the level of this indicator:

  • viral infectious diseases – flu, rubella, hepatitis.
  • typhus, paratyphoid;
  • disorders in the bone marrow;
  • deficiency of a number of vitamins and elements (iron, copper, vitamin B1, B9, B12);
  • radiation sickness;
  • initial stages of leukemia;
  • anaphylactic shock;
  • taking a number of medications.

Knowing where red blood cells, white blood cells are formed, you can look at the known parameters of the concentration of blood elements – what is normal and what should cause concern. To identify specific indicators, the doctor gives a direction to a general analysis. The number of leukocytes is measured at a concentration of 10 ^ 9 / L. With the results of 4,2-10 * 10 ^ 9 / l there is nothing to worry about, such values ​​are considered normal for adults.

If the indicator is out of the norm, this does not mean that the activity of the organ where the white blood cells are formed is disrupted. The probability of an erroneous result is no less high: for example, a malfunction in the laboratory could occur, which caused an incorrect result. If leukocytopenia is suspected, leukocytosis should be a comprehensive study.

It is necessary to pay attention to the activity of the organs where leukocytes are formed, if, according to the results of a correctly conducted study, the indicators were outside normal limits. But what does “correct” mean? To understand this, it is worth understanding the procedure itself.

First, acetic acid is poured into the tube, the color of which is changed due to methylene blue. A drop of the patient’s blood is dripped into the reagent and thoroughly mixed, the chamber and glass are wiped with clean gauze, the glass is rubbed against the chamber and waiting for the formation of multi-colored rings. The chamber is filled with plasma. The waiting time is one minute. After this period, the cells stop moving. The laboratory assistant uses a special formula to accurately calculate indicators.

In addition, leukocytes in the blood tend to increase physiologically due to various circumstances, because these cells are the first to “feel” and “know”. For example, physiological (redistributive or, as they used to be called relative) leukocytosis can be observed in such cases:

  1. After eating, especially plentiful food, these cells begin to leave places of constant dislocation (depot, marginal pool) and rush into the submucous layer of the intestine – alimentary or food leukocytosis
    (why the KLA is better to do on an empty stomach);
  2. With intense muscle tension – myogenic leukocytosis
    when Le can be increased in 3 – 5, but not always due to redistribution of cells, in other cases one can observe true leukocytosis, which indicates an increase in leukopoiesis (sport, hard work);
  3. At the time of a surge of emotions, regardless of whether they are joyful or sad, in stressful situations – emotional leukocytosis
    , the same reason for the increase in white cells can be considered strong manifestations of pain;
  4. With a sharp change in body position (horizontal → vertical) – orthostatic leukocytosis
  5. Immediately after physiotherapeutic treatment (therefore, patients are first offered to visit the laboratory, and then go to the procedures in the physical room);
  6. In women before menstruation, during gestation (most in recent months), during breastfeeding – leukocytosis of pregnant, lactating

It is not so difficult to distinguish relative leukocytosis from true: elevated leukocytes in the blood are not observed for long, after exposure to any of the above factors, the body quickly returns to its usual state and the leukocytes “calm down”. In addition, with relative leukocytosis, the normal ratio of white blood of the first line of defense (granulocytes) is not violated and the toxic granularity characteristic of pathological conditions is never noted in them.

Of course, doctors in each region know their standards and are guided by them, however, there are summary tables that more or less satisfy all geographical areas (if necessary, the doctor will make an adjustment taking into account the region, age, physiological characteristics at the time of the study, etc.).

White blood cells (WBC), x10 9 / l4 – 9
55 – 75

Band neutrophils,%
in absolute terms, x10 9 / l

in absolute terms, x10 9 / l
in absolute terms, x10 9 / l
25 – 45
in absolute terms, x10 9 / l
in absolute terms, x10 9 / l

In addition, it will be useful to find out the norms depending on age, because, as noted above, they also have some differences in adults and children of different lengths of life.

Up to a month of lifeUp to a yearFrom year to 7 yearsFrom 7 13 years upFrom 13 16 years upAdults
White blood cells (WBC), x10 9 / l6,5 – 13,86 – 125 – 124,5 – 104,3-9,54 – 9
Sticks,%0,5 – 40,5 – 40,5 – 50,5 – 50,5 – 61 – 6
Segments,%15 – 4515 – 4525 – 6036 – 6540 – 6542 – 72
Eosinophils,%0,5 – 70,5 – 73,5 – 70,5 – 70,5 – 50,5 – 5
Basophils,%0 – 10 – 10 – 10 – 10 – 10 – 1
Lymphocytes,%40 – 7638 – 7226 – 6024 – 5425 – 5018 – 40
Monocytes,%2 – 122 – 122 – 102 – 102 – 102 – 8

Obviously, information on the total white blood cell count (WBC) does not seem comprehensive to the doctor. To determine the patient’s condition, a decoding of the leukocyte formula is necessary, which reflects the ratio of all types of white blood cells. However, this is not all – the decoding of the leukocyte formula is not always limited to the percentage of a particular leukocyte population.

B) functional varieties of mature cells.

Now everything will become clearer.

Consider a group of neutrophils. They are distributed only by maturity. According to this criterion, they are divided into: promyelocytes, myelocytes, metamyelocytes (young neutrophils), stab, segmented neutrophils. Only the last two types of cells are found in the blood, the rest are completely immature and are located in the bone marrow.

With lymphocytes, everything is somewhat more complicated, among them there are both “intermediate” maturing forms and different types of mature cells. The bone marrow stem cell, which “decided” to become a lymphocyte, initially turns into a cell called the precursor of lymphopoiesis. That, in turn, divides and forms two daughter species: the precursor of T-lymphopoiesis and the precursor of B-lymphopoiesis.

Further from the first there are several more generations of cells of different degrees of maturity: T-immunoblast, T-prolymphocyte, T-immunocyte, and in the end mature T-lymphocytes are formed, which are responsible for cellular immunity and directly destroy harmful particles that have entered the body by direct contact.

The precursor of B-lymphopoiesis goes a slightly different way. B-lymphoblast, B-prolymphocyte, plasmoblast, proplasmocyte and, finally, the most mature forms: B-lymphocytes and plasmocytes, originate from it. Their purpose is that these white blood cells in men, women and children are responsible for the production of antibodies and the formation of memory immunity.

The white blood cell count is measured in units (i.e. cells) per liter of blood. It is also worthwhile to understand that the white blood cell count is not constant, but varies depending on the state of the body and time of day. For example, the concentration of leukocytes usually slightly increases after eating, in the evening, after physical and mental stress.

The norm of the level of leukocytes in the blood of an adult over 16 years old is 4-9 · 10 9 / l. Given the amount of blood in an adult’s body, we can say that from 20 to 45 billion white blood cells circulate there.

For the normal level of leukocytes in men, the above value is taken (more precisely, leukocytes 4,4-10). In the body of males, the number of leukocytes is subject to much weaker fluctuations than in other groups of patients.

In women, this indicator is more variable and leukocytes 3,3-10 · 10 9 / l are taken as the standard. In the figures of this indicator, fluctuations are possible depending on the phase of the menstrual cycle and the state of the hormonal background.

Decreased leukocyte counts

The main function of white blood cells is to protect the body from microorganisms, foreign proteins, foreign bodies that penetrate the blood and tissues.

White blood cells have the ability to move independently, releasing pseudopods (pseudopodia). They can leave blood vessels, penetrating through the vascular wall, and move between cells of various tissues of the body. At
slowing down the movement of blood, white blood cells stick to the inner surface of the capillaries and in large numbers leave the vessels, squeezing between the endothelial cells of the capillaries.

Along the way, they capture and expose microbes and other foreign bodies to intracellular digestion. White blood cells actively penetrate through intact vascular
walls, easily pass through membranes, move in connective tissue under the influence of various chemicals formed in the tissues.

In blood vessels, white blood cells move along the walls, sometimes even against the flow of blood. The speed of movement of not all cells is the same. Neutrophils move most quickly – about 30 microns in 1 min, lymphocytes and basophils move more slowly. In diseases, the speed of movement of leukocytes, as a rule, increases.

Approaching the microorganism, leukocytes with pseudopods envelop it and draw it into the cytoplasm (Fig. 48). One neutrophil can absorb 20-30 microbes. An hour later, they all turn out to be digested inside the neutrophil .. This occurs with the participation of special enzymes that destroy microorganisms.

If a foreign body exceeds the leukocyte in size, groups of neutrophils accumulate around it, forming a barrier. By digesting or melting this foreign body, together with the surrounding tissues, white blood cells die. IN
As a result, an abscess forms around a foreign body, which after some time breaks and its contents are expelled from the body.

With destroyed tissues and dead white blood cells, foreign bodies penetrating the body are also thrown out.

The absorption and digestion by leukocytes of various microbes, simple organisms and all kinds of foreign substances entering the body are called phagocytosis,
and the white blood cells themselves are phagocytes.

The phenomenon of phagocytosis was studied by I.I. Mechnikov. I.I. Mechnikov made his first observation on relatively simple organisms – the larvae of starfish. He noted that
a splinter in the body of a starfish larva is quickly surrounded by moving cells.

The same thing happens in a person who has stuck a finger in himself. Around the splinter, a large number of white blood cells accumulate, and externally this is manifested by the formation of a white vesicle, consisting of an accumulation of dead white blood cells – pus.

An even more important observation was made by I.I. Mechnikov on freshwater Daphnia crustaceans. He established that if spores of a microscopic fungus penetrate through the intestinal wall and enter the body cavity, then mobile cells rush towards them, which capture and digest them. As a result, the disease does not develop.

Blood is an important component of the body’s immune system. The protective system includes cells and substances that recognize and neutralize the body foreign to the body. This function is performed by leukocytes – colorless blood cells that have a nucleus. In blood, they are 800 times less than red blood cells, but leukocytes outnumber them in size. On average, 1 ml of blood contains 4500-8000 leukocytes.

According to the granularity of the cytoplasm, leukocytes are divided into granulocytes and agranulocytes. The former contain small grains (granules) in the cytoplasm, which are stained with different dyes in blue, red or purple. Non-grained forms do not have such granules. Agranulocytes are divided into lymphocytes and monocytes, and granulocytes – into eosinophils, basophils and neutrophils.

White blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, lymph nodes and spleen. About 1/4 or 1/3 of the total number of leukocytes falls on the lymphocytes – relatively small cells that are contained not only in the blood, but also in the lymphatic system. The smallest group of leukocytes include monocytes – rather large cells that form in the bone marrow and in the lymphatic system.

By their shape and structure, blood cells are divided into 2 groups:

  • granular (granulocytes);
  • non-granular (agranulocytes).

Human blood consists of shaped elements and plasma. Leukocytes are one of these formed elements along with erythrocytes and platelets. They are colorless, have a core and can move independently. They can be seen under a microscope only after preliminary staining. From the organs that make up the human immune system, where leukocytes are formed, they enter the bloodstream and tissues of the body. They are also free to move from vessels to adjacent tissues.

Leukocytes move as follows. Fixed on the wall of the vessel, the leukocyte forms a pseudopodia (pseudopod), which it slides through this wall and clings to the fabric outside. Then it squeezes through the gap formed and actively moves among other cells of the body, leading a “sedentary” lifestyle. Their movement resembles the movement of an amoeba (a microscopic unicellular organism from the protozoa).

Decreased values ​​for these shaped elements (WBC) – also should not always cause a commotion. For example, elderly patients may not be particularly worried if the figures indicating the content of white blood cells froze at the lower limit of the norm or slightly stepped it downward – people aged have a lower white blood cell count.

The values ​​of laboratory indicators of white blood can also be reduced in cases of prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation in small doses. For example, among X-ray workers and people on duty who come into contact with factors unfavorable in this regard, or people who permanently live in areas with increased radiation background (therefore, they often have to take a general blood test to prevent the development of a dangerous disease).

It should be noted that a low level of leukocytes, as a manifestation of leukopenia, occurs mainly due to a decrease in granulocytic cells – neutrophils (). However, each specific case is characterized by its changes in peripheral blood, which there is no point in describing in detail, since the reader can get acquainted with them on other pages of our site if they wish.

But this is only a list of conditions that are characterized by a decrease in the content of such significant cells as white blood cells. However, why do such changes occur? What factors lead to a decrease in the number of uniform elements that protect the body from agents alien to it? Perhaps pathology dates back to the bone marrow?

A low white blood cell count may be due to several reasons:

  1. Decreased production of white blood cells in the bone marrow (BM);
  2. The problem that arises at the final stage of leukopoiesis is the stage at which mature full-fledged cells exit from CM into peripheral blood (“lazy white blood cell syndrome”, in which a defect in the cell membrane inhibits their motor activity);
  3. The destruction of cells in the hematopoietic organs and in the vascular bed under the influence of factors possessing lysing properties against representatives of the leukocyte community, as well as a change in physicochemical characteristics and a violation of the permeability of the membranes of the white blood cells themselves, formed as a result of ineffective hematopoiesis;
  4. A change in the ratio of marginal / circulating pool (complications after a blood transfusion, inflammatory processes);
  5. The departure of white cells from the body (cholecystoangiocholitis, purulent endometritis).

Unfortunately, a low level of white blood cells cannot go unnoticed by the body itself, because leukopenia leads to a decrease in the immune response, and, therefore, weakening of the defenses. The decrease in the phagocytic activity of neutrophils and the antibody-forming function of B cells contributes to the “rampant” of infectious agents in the body of an unprotected person, the nucleation and development of malignant neoplasms of any localization.

Human blood consists of uniform elements and plasma. White blood cells are one of these shaped elements along with red blood cells and platelets. They are colorless, have a core and can move independently. You can see them under the microscope only after preliminary painting. From the organs entering where white blood cells are formed, they enter the bloodstream and body tissues. They can also freely pass from vessels to adjacent tissues.

Where are they formed and how much do they live?

When performing their functions, many white blood cells die, so the body constantly reproduces them. White blood cells are formed in organs that enter the human immune system: in the thymus gland (thymus), bone marrow, lymph nodes, tonsils, spleen and in the lymphoid formations of the intestine (in Peyer’s patches).

These organs are located in different places of the body. Bone marrow is also the place where white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells form. White blood cells are believed to live for about 12 days. However, some of them die very quickly, which happens when they fight with a large number of aggressive bacteria. Dead white blood cells can be seen if pus appears, which is their accumulation. They are replaced by organs from the immune system, where leukocytes are formed, new cells come out and continue to destroy bacteria.

Along with this, among T-lymphocytes there are immunological memory cells that live for decades. I met a lymphocyte, for example, with such a monster as the Ebola virus – he will remember it for life. Upon repeated encounter with this virus, lymphocytes are converted into large lymphoblasts, which have the ability to multiply rapidly.

Red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are important elements that form the hematopoietic system. Violations of its activities are considered very serious, life-threatening problems for the patient. It is not surprising, because blood cells form vital organs:

White blood cells themselves can produce active compounds – antibodies that can fight inflammatory mediators. The process of the appearance of cells in medicine is called leukopoiesis. The largest percentage is formed in the bone marrow. The duration of the white blood cell is up to 12 days.

When performing their functions, many white blood cells die, so the body constantly reproduces them. White blood cells are formed in organs that enter the human immune system: in the bone marrow, lymph nodes, tonsils, spleen and in the lymphoid formations of the intestine (in Peyer’s patches). These organs are located in different places of the body.

It is also a place where white blood cells, platelets, red blood cells are formed. White blood cells are believed to live for about 12 days. However, some of them die very quickly, which happens when they fight with a large number of aggressive bacteria. Dead white blood cells can be seen if pus appears, which is their accumulation. They are replaced by organs from the immune system, where leukocytes are formed, new cells come out and continue to destroy bacteria.

Along with this, among T-lymphocytes there are immunological memory cells that live for decades. I met a lymphocyte, for example, with such a monster as the Ebola virus – he will remember it for life. Upon repeated encounter with this virus, lymphocytes are converted into large lymphoblasts, which have the ability to multiply rapidly.

The main part of white cells, namely granulocytes, is produced by red bone marrow from stem cells. A precursor cell is formed from the maternal (stem) cell, then it becomes leukopoietin-sensitive, which, under the action of a specific hormone, develops along the leukocyte (white) row: myeloblasts – promyelocytes – myelocytes – metamyelocytes (young forms) – stab-like – segmented. Immature forms are found in the bone marrow, matured enter the bloodstream. Granulocytes live for about 10 days.

Lymphocytes and a significant portion of monocytes are produced in the lymph nodes. Part of the agranulocytes from the lymphatic system enters the bloodstream, which transfers them to the organs. Lymphocytes live long – from several days to several months and years. The life of monocytes is from several hours to 2-4 days.

The life span of each form of white blood cells is different. For example, granulocytes begin to die within 10 days, lymphocytes that are especially important for the immune system function in the human body for several years, after which they are replaced by new ones.

Monocytes have the shortest life span, which is 1-2 hours. This is due to the fact that they face the simplest task.

All forms of white blood cells are destroyed in the spleen or in the area of ​​the inflammatory process.


The main function of white blood cells is to protect the body from microorganisms and foreign bodies that penetrate the blood or tissues. White blood cells can move independently. Along the way, they capture and expose microbes and other foreign bodies to intracellular digestion. Absorption and digestion by leukocytes of various microbes and foreign substances that enter the body are called phagocytosis.

Lymphocytes and eosinophils act on the basis of the antibody-antigen reaction. As soon as they recognize a foreign body or cell, they immediately join it. In their membrane there is a protein substance-receptor, which, like a magnet, attracts a substance foreign to the body. That is, the structure of these molecules is compatible, they fit together like a key to a lock.

Thus, in the blood of each foreign body there is a cell of the protective system, which adapts to it. However, when no pathological processes occur in the body, only a small number of white blood cells circulate in the blood. Their number increases dramatically as soon as this becomes necessary.

White blood cells can recognize and destroy harmful particles
. They easily digest them, but after that they die themselves. The very process of eliminating “enemies” is called phagocytosis. Cells that interact in this process are called phagocytes. Blood cells not only destroy foreign bodies, but also cleanse the human body. White blood cells easily utilize foreign elements in the form of dead snow-white cells and pathogenic bacteria.

Another major function of white blood cells is the production of antibodies, which helps to neutralize pathogenic elements. Due to these antibodies, immunity to each disease that a person has already had is immune. Blood particles inherently affect metabolism. White blood cells are able to supply organs and tissues with missing hormones. They also secrete enzymes and other substances necessary for humans.

The general functions of white blood cells are as follows:

  1. Protective – is the formation of specific and nonspecific immunity. The main mechanism is phagocytosis (cell capture of a pathogenic microorganism and deprivation of its life).
  2. Transport – lies in the ability of white cells to adsorb amino acids, enzymes and other substances in the plasma, and transfer them to the right places.
  3. Hemostatic – involved in blood coagulation.
  4. Sanitary – the ability to absorb tissue that died from injuries with the help of the enzymes contained in the white blood cells.
  5. Synthetic – the ability of some proteins to synthesize bioactive substances (heparin, histamine and others).

Each type of white blood cell is assigned its own functions, including specific ones.

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The main role is to protect the body from infectious agents. These cells capture bacteria in their cytoplasm and digest. In addition, they can produce antimicrobial agents. When infection enters the body, they rush to the site of introduction, accumulate there in large numbers, absorb microorganisms and die themselves, turning into pus.


When infected with worms, these cells penetrate the intestines, are destroyed and release toxic substances that kill helminths. For allergies, eosinophils remove excess histamine.


These white blood cells are involved in the formation of all allergic reactions. They are called an ambulance for the bites of poisonous insects and snakes.


They constantly patrol the body in order to detect foreign microorganisms and out of control cells of their own body, which can mutate, then quickly divide and form tumors. Among them there are informants – macrophages that constantly move around the body, collect suspicious objects and deliver them to lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are divided into three types:

  • T-lymphocytes are responsible for cellular immunity, come into contact with harmful agents and destroy them;
  • B-lymphocytes determine foreign microorganisms and produce antibodies against them;
  • NK cells. These are real killers that maintain normal cellular composition. Their function is to recognize defective and cancerous cells and destroy them.

Despite the similarity of leukocytes with amoeba, they perform complex functions. Their main tasks are to protect the body from various viruses and bacteria, the destruction of malignant cells. White blood cells chase bacteria, envelop them and destroy them. This process is called phagocytosis, which is translated from Latin as “devouring something by cells”.


White blood cell types

The main indicator that determines the state of human health is not only the total number of leukocytes, but also the percentage of their types, according to which experts put forward various hypotheses about the causes of deviations from the norm. The main types of white blood cells include:

  1. Neutrophils. These elements are among the granular leukocytes. If their level drops, then this will lead to the loss by the human body of the ability to defend itself from various direct and bacterial infections. The neutrophils that have died in the area of ​​inflammation are pus.
  2. Lymphocytes Lymphocytes are the main defenders of the human body in the presence of viral infections. It is they who destroy and recognize foreign agents.
  3. Monocytes. The main role of monocytes is that they clear the focus of inflammation from the dead of various foreign particles.
  4. Basophils. Basophils are considered auxiliary cells that mobilize other granular leukocytes to the main site of the inflammatory process.
  5. Eosinophils. These granulocytes perform an antiallergic function in the human body.

Where are they produced?

Most white blood cells are produced in the red bone marrow. They are formed from special stem cells. Stem cells (immature) remain in the bone marrow, and colorless blood cells that develop from them enter the circulatory system. From this moment, their presence is confirmed by a blood test (during a special study, they can be accurately calculated). Meanwhile, lymphocytes and most of the monocytes are formed in the lymphatic system, from there some of them enter the bloodstream.

The pathological process of death of stem cells leads to leukemia. In this case, a very large number of white blood cells are produced, which, due to their immaturity, are not able to perform their functions.

Everyone, even a child, has a general idea of ​​what white blood cells are. They are enlarged spherical particles of blood. White blood cells are colorless. Therefore, these elements are called snow-white blood cells. In the human body, different subspecies of blood cells can function.

Their main task is active protection from internal and external “enemies”
. White blood cells are able to move in the bloodstream of the human body. They can also move through the walls of blood vessels and easily penetrate into tissues and organs. After that, they return back to the blood. When a danger is detected, blood cells arrive in a timely manner in the desired area of ​​the body. They can move together with blood, and also move independently with the help of pseudopods.

In cancer patients with leukemia, mortality reaches 25-30%
from the number of all cases. With other manifestations of agranulocytosis – 5-10%.

White blood cells are formed due to red bone marrow. They are formed from stem cells. The mother cell is divided into ordinary ones, after which it becomes leukopoietin-sensitive. Due to the specific hormone, leukocyte rows are formed
. These include:

  • Myeloblasts;
  • Promyelocytes;
  • Myelocytes;
  • Metamyelocytes;
  • Stab;
  • Segmented;

It is worth considering that immature forms of white blood cells are present in the bone marrow. Fully ripened bodies can be in the capillaries of organs or in the bloodstream.

Decreased white blood cells in the blood – what does it mean?

The main criterion for determining a reliable level of white blood cells is considered to be a wbc blood test.

The average indicator can vary between 5,5 – 8,8 * 10 ^ 9 units / liter. But the average rate may fluctuate depending on some important factors. The indicator can be affected by a person’s age, lifestyle, environment, nutrition, various methodologies for calculating specific laboratories. You need to know how many white blood cells are in one liter. Below is a table of age requirements.

As practice shows, the norm can deviate by 3-5%. 93-96% of all healthy people fall within the limits of these ranges.

Every adult should know how many white blood cells should be in one liter. Norm may vary by age
the patient. It is also influenced by factors – pregnancy, diet, physical data of a person. It is important to consider that in adolescents 14-16 years of age, the indicator is very close to the norm of an adult.

White blood cells also form in the lymph nodes. The amount of wbc in the circulating blood is considered a very important diagnostic indicator. But it is worth considering that the norm is not considered a specific indicator. It may vary within acceptable limits. Physiological and pathological leukocytosis are also distinguished.

It is generally accepted that, in general, the white blood cell counts in women and men are no different.
However, in men who are not burdened with a burden of disease, the blood formula (Le) is more constant than that of women of the opposite sex. In women at different periods of life, individual indicators may deviate, which, as always, is explained by the physiological characteristics of the female body, which can approach the next menstruation, prepare for the birth of a child (pregnancy) or provide a lactation period (breastfeeding). Usually, when decoding the test results, the doctor does not neglect the condition of the woman at the time of the study and takes this into account.

There are also differences between the norms of children of different ages.
(state of the immune system, 2 crosshairs), therefore, doctors do not always regard fluctuations in these shaped elements in children from 4 to 15,5 x 10 9 / l as pathology.
In general, in each case, the doctor is individually suited taking into account the age, gender, body characteristics, geographical location of the patient’s place, because Russia is a huge country and the norms in Bryansk and Khabarovsk may also have some differences.

No matter the white blood cells are lowered in women or men, the causes of this phenomenon do not have gender differences. So, the following reasons are possible for the low level of this indicator:

  • damage to bone marrow cells by a variety of chemicals
    , including drugs;
  • hypoplasia
    or bone marrow aplasia
  • lack of certain vitamins and minerals (iron
    , and copper
  • radiation exposure and radiation sickness
  • acute leukemia
  • hypersplenism;
  • plasmacytoma;
  • myelodysplastic syndromes;
  • pernicious anemia;
  • metastases
    tumors in the bone marrow;
  • typhus
    and paratyphoid
  • sepsis
  • carriers of the herpes virus types 7 and 6
  • collagenoses
  • medication (sulfonamides
    , number, thyreostatics
    and oral antispasmodic drugs

Also, when the white blood cells are below normal, this means that the patient should exclude thyroid disease.

If the white blood cells are lowered in the blood of a child, then this may be a symptom of typhoid fever, brucellosis
or viral hepatitis
. In any case, leukopenia
– This is a serious phenomenon that requires an urgent analysis of its causes.

  • bronchial asthma;
  • chronic radiation sickness;
  • tuberculosis;
  • thyrotoxicosis;
  • drug addiction;
  • after splenectomy
  • chronic lymphocytic leukemia

observed in the following cases:

  • malformations of the organs of the lymphoid system;
  • slowing of lymphopoiesis
  • accelerated destruction of lymphocytes
  • agammaglobulinemia;
  • thymoma;
  • leukemia;
  • aplastic anemia;
  • carcinoma
  • Cushing’s disease
  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • corticosteroid treatment;
  • tuberculosis
    and other diseases.

The amount of these white blood cells is not considered fixed. Even throughout the day, the white blood cell count will fluctuate, since it is tightly interconnected with various external factors. What determines the number of white blood cells in the blood? The physiological increase in this indicator is affected by:

  1. Times of Day. For example, before going to bed, the level of white blood cells increases in the blood.
  2. Excess protein in the diet.
  3. Weather conditions, which should also include the reaction of the immune system to sudden changes in air temperature.
  4. Period of pregnancy.
  5. Stress state.
  6. Menstruation in women.

You should also pay attention to the fact that the constant concentration of these bodies in adults is always lower than other uniform elements found in the blood. For example, if we compare the number of leukocytes with red blood cells, then the first one thousand times less.

Doctors also note that in newborns during a blood test, a fairly high level of white bodies is observed, 3 times more than, for example, in an adult. However, over time, their indicator gradually decreases, the difference between women and men is observed only after the 21st year of life.

Decreased white blood cells in the blood – what does it mean?

An increase in the concentration of white blood cells is, first of all, due to an increase in the rate of differentiation of the leukocyte link precursors, their accelerated maturation and exit from the hematopoietic organ (CC) into peripheral blood. Of course, in this situation, the appearance of young forms of white blood cells – metamyelocytes and young ones – in the circulating blood is not ruled out.

Meanwhile, the term “WBC elevated” does not reflect the completeness of the picture of events occurring in the body, because a slight increase in the level of these shaped elements is characteristic of many conditions of a healthy person (physiological leukocytosis).
In addition, leukocytosis can be moderate, and can give very high rates.

White blood cells normally in a smear from the urethra do not exceed 10 units in the field of view, from the cervix – do not exceed 30 units, from the vagina – do not exceed 15 units.

The increased content in the smear of leukocytes may indicate bacterial infections (genital organs, and others), dysbiosis
, irritation of the genitals and elementary non-compliance with hygiene rules before taking the material.

Elevated white blood cells in the blood – what does it mean? Before answering this question, it is worth paying attention to the fact that any fluctuations in the rate of white blood cells in the blood have their own names in the field of medicine. For example, an increase in white blood cell count is called leukocytosis. By the nature of its premises, leukocytosis can be physiological or pathological.

If we talk about pathological leukocytosis, then it should be considered in more detail, since it can talk about the presence of dangerous diseases.

The data of doctors say that the deviation from the norm mainly goes up, but a decrease in this indicator is also possible. This phenomenon is called leukopenia. As for the physiological prerequisites for this disease, they are few. Statistics show that only 12% of Europeans suffer from a congenital form of this pathology.

Too high a white blood cell count is considered leukocytosis. Therefore, you need to know exactly how many blood particles are in one liter. An elevated level may be affected.

  • Diseases
  • Physiological factors;
  • Diet;
  • Excessive sports and gymnastic loads;
  • The psychological state of a person;
  • Sudden changes in temperature;

An elevated level is determined by various physiological causes. It can be observed in an absolutely healthy person. Leukocytosis can also cause some diseases.
. An excessively high level of leukocytes, equal to several thousand units above the norm, indicates severe inflammation. In this case, it is necessary to urgently begin treatment. Otherwise, with an increase in the norm by a million or hundreds of thousands of units, leukemia develops.

After a general analysis, a complete diagnosis of the body should be completed. The disease is treated:

  • Antibiotics;
  • Corticostero >Too low white blood cell count is considered leukopenia. From the wrong particle norm, various ailments are formed. Lower levels may be affected
  • Ionizing radiation, radiation;
  • Active division of red bone marrow cells;
  • Premature aging, age-related changes;
  • Gene mutation;
  • Autoimmune operations with the destruction of antibodies;
  • Severe depletion of the human body;
  • Immunodeficiencies;
  • HIV infection;
  • Leukemia, tumors, metastases, cancer;
  • Endocrine system failure;

The main cause of low white blood cell count is poor bone marrow performance. It begins insufficient production of blood particles, as a result of which there is a noticeable decrease in life expectancy. Cells begin to prematurely collapse and die. Such a malfunction immediately causes a violation of the immune system.

A condition in which the number of leukocytes is more than 9 thousand per 1 ml of blood is called leukocytosis.

It must be understood that elevated white blood cells in the blood are a relative phenomenon. With a general blood test, it is necessary to take into account the gender of the patient, his age, the nature of the diet and several other indicators.

In general, leukocytosis indicates an existing inflammatory process in the body. The reasons for the increase in the level of bodies can be physiological and pathological.

A physiological increase in white blood cell count does not need treatment. It can occur in the following cases:

  • heavy physical labor;
  • after meals (after eating, the indicator can reach a value of 12 x109 / l);
  • nutritional features (some components of meat products can be perceived by the body as foreign antibodies);
  • period of pregnancy, childbirth;
  • reception of contrast baths;
  • after the introduction of the vaccine;
  • period before menstruation.

With an elevated level of white bodies not of a physiological nature, it is necessary to conduct a general examination or another blood test 3-5 days after the first to eliminate errors. If the white blood cell count does not decrease, then there is still a problem.

With the exception of physiological causes, elevated white blood cells indicate the presence of one or more of the following reasons:

  • bacterial infectious diseases (tonsillitis, meningitis, pneumonia, pyelonephritis, etc.);
  • viral infections (mononucleosis, chickenpox, viral hepatitis);
  • various inflammatory processes (peritonitis, abscess, appendicitis, infected wounds);
  • blood diseases (leukemia, anemia);
  • myocardial infarction;
  • tumor diseases;
  • carbon monoxide poisoning;
  • extensive burns;
  • after taking some drugs.

White blood cells in the urine are increased, causes

This term refers to a situation of pathological increase in the concentration of leukocytes in human blood. Even in healthy people, this condition is sometimes observed. It can provoke a long stay in direct sunlight, negative emotional experiences or prolonged stress. Leukocytosis can be triggered by physical exertion. In women, this condition is observed during the period of gestation, menstruation.

“What is leukocytosis
“And” leukocytosis – what is it?
“Are the most common hematological topics on the World Wide Web. So leukocytosis
– This is a condition characterized by an increase in the absolute number of leukocytes in a liter of blood of a more established physiological indicator. It should be understood that the increase in white blood cells in the blood is a relative phenomenon.

In simple terms, leukocytosis
indicates the presence of an inflammatory process in the body. The reasons why leukocytes in the blood are elevated have a physiological and pathological character, respectively, and leukocytosis is physiological and pathological.

Physiological (which means that it does not require treatment), an increased content of leukocytes in the blood, can occur for the following reasons:

  • heavy physical labor;
  • food intake (it can “spoil” a blood test, from which an increased number of leukocytes after eating can reach a value of 12 · 10 9 / l);
  • nutritional features (food leukocytosis
    it can also occur if meat products prevail in the diet, some components of which the body perceives as foreign antibodies – this means that white blood cells will be increased in the blood due to the development of the immune response);
  • pregnancy and childbirth;
  • taking cold and hot baths;
  • after vaccination;
  • premenstrual period.

An elevated level of leukocytes in the blood of a pathological nature requires examination or, at a minimum, a reanalysis after 3-5 days to exclude a counting error. If white blood cells in the blood are elevated and physiological causes are excluded, then an increase in the number indicates the presence of one or more of the following conditions:

  • infectious disorders (, sepsis
    , other);
  • infectious disorders with damage to immune cells (infectious
    or mononucleosis
  • various inflammatory diseases caused by microorganisms (phlegmon
    , boil
    infected wounds are the most common causes of an increase in the described indicator in the blood);
  • inflammatory disorders of non-infectious origin (, and others);
  • , lungs and other organs;
  • extensive burns;
  • malignant neoplasms (in the presence of a tumor in the bone marrow, leukopenia is possible
  • large blood loss;
  • proliferative hematopoietic diseases (for example, when white blood cells are increased to 100 · 109 / l or more);
  • splenectomy
  • diabetic, uremia

In addition, when there are a lot of white blood cells in the blood, this means that in rare cases, aniline poisoning can be suspected.
or nitrobenzene
. Many white blood cells appear in the initial stage of radiation sickness

There are a number of insufficiently studied conditions of the human body, in which leukocytes, ESR increase
and body temperature rises slightly. After a short period of time, these indicators return to normal. These abnormal conditions do not have any noticeable manifestations.

Women, as indicated earlier, have much more physiological reasons for their leukocyte count to be higher than normal. What does it mean? The fact is that hematological parameters in women are much more dynamic and prone to changes. Most often, a physiological increase in the indicator is observed during the premenstrual period and during pregnancy, however, after childbirth, it decreases to normal values. Otherwise, the causes of leukocytosis in women are identical to those described above.

The norm during pregnancy of the described indicator is, according to various authors, up to 15 and even 18 · 10 9 / l. Leukocytosis during pregnancy is a fairly common phenomenon, reflecting the reaction of the immune system to the mother to the presence of the fetus. If white blood cells are elevated during pregnancy, the patient’s condition should be closely monitored, because of the increased risk of premature birth.

In general, in pediatrics it is believed that if a blood test showed leukocytes of 14 · 10 9 / l in a healthy patient, then you should be wary, appoint a re-analysis and draw up a survey plan. The reasons if the white blood cells in the child are elevated can be varied, therefore, patients in this category should always be re-analyzed.

The most common reasons why a child has excessive white blood cells is the presence of childhood infections (including elementary ARI
when blood counts are changed within a few days after recovery), mainly of a bacterial nature.

They are also high in a child with other diseases (which are more common in children than adults), for example, leukemia
(in common “blood cancer”) and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis
. The causes of the described phenomenon in the newborn are described below.

If the white blood cells are elevated in a newborn, this is not always a sign of a disease (such as an increase in bilirubin
) Their normal level in the blood immediately after birth can reach a value of 30 · 109 / L. However, during the first week it should decline rapidly. An experienced neonatologist should deal with the increase in white blood cells in a newborn (baby).

Leukocytosis in children and adults, leukocytosis in newborns and pregnant women never causes characteristic signs of a change in well-being and cannot be detected by instrumental examination. Moderate leukocytosis in itself is a symptom and without a medical history, examination by specialists, prescribing studies, does not bear special clinical significance.

Often patients are interested in how to quickly lower or how to quickly increase white blood cells in the blood. At the same time, on the Internet you can find a lot of useless, and sometimes dangerous for health, ways to raise or lower the level of leukocytes with folk remedies.

It is important to understand: an elevated or elevated white blood cell count does not require urgent normalization, a comprehensive, thorough examination of the patient and a search for the causes of this phenomenon are necessary. And when the cause is eliminated (cured), then the white blood cell count will return to normal.

The normal content of leukocytes in the urine of men is 5-7 units in the field of view, in women – 7-10 units in the field of view. An increase in the content of leukocytes in urine above the indicated norm is called leukocyturia in medicine
. Its cause can be both non-observance of personal hygiene rules and serious diseases (inflammatory diseases of the genitourinary tract, tuberculosis
, kidneys, and others).

What does it mean – increased white blood cells in the blood? Answering this question, one should pay attention to the fact that women have more reasons to face this ailment than men. One of the natural prerequisites for this phenomenon is pregnancy, in which deviations of this indicator from the norm are allowed up to 15 * 10 ^ 9 U / l.

  • the presence of viral diseases;
  • the presence of bacterial infections;
  • inflammatory processes of any etiology;
  • anemia;
  • kidney failure;
  • internal bleeding;
  • allergic reaction;
  • injury to the skin, such as burns or wounds.

Separately, it should also be mentioned a strong deviation of this indicator, when the number of leukocytes is more than 100000 * 10 ^ 9 U / L. It is with oncology that leukocytes in the blood increase to such indicators. This disease is officially called leukemia or leukemia. Mostly this problem is diagnosed among children.

If bone marrow function is impaired, then it can no longer produce white blood cells in the required volume, and their indicator drops by two units or more, while remaining at the minimum level for a long time. From analysis to analysis, this indicator begins to decline. In adults, this occurs for the following reasons:

  • the presence of malignant diseases of lymphoid tissue;
  • chronic diseases that are infectious in nature;
  • low-grade tumors;
  • bone marrow metastases;
  • severe blood loss;
  • hepatitis;
  • intoxication.

A decrease in the level of white blood cells can also be observed due to the use of non-steroid drugs and antibiotics, as well as in the presence of sepsis. Low leukocytes in the blood of a child are observed due to the pathological process, which is mainly congenital in nature. Special emphasis is placed on:

  • bone marrow hypoplasia or aplasia;
  • vitamin B12 deficiency.

What to do

If white blood cells in the blood are increased, what do they do in this case? This will require a comprehensive examination, which involves:

  • peripheral blood smear;
  • biopsy;
  • the delivery of a detailed analysis to increase basophils.

The root cause of the increase in leukocytes should also be eliminated, therefore the methods of therapy will be determined on the basis of the root cause of leukocytosis. In the presence of acute infections, the use of antibiotics is possible, and with blood pathologies, chemotherapy is required. Additionally, the following are also assigned:

  • anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • antacids to reduce the amount of acid in the urine.


Prevention should be carried out with the exact selection of dosages of drugs or other drugs. Cancer patients are advised to undergo radiation prophylaxis and chemotherapy. Radiation therapy gives the highest maximum result. It is necessary to pay attention to an individual approach to each of the patients.

It is necessary to completely exclude self-medication.

Determination in the blood plays an important role in the examination of the body. A decreased or increased level may indicate a pathological effect. Correct decoding of the analysis can help diagnose an early stage of the disease. Timely treatment will give the greatest effect, easily eliminating the focus of the disease.

White blood cells are cells that can form immunity, protecting the body from the development of extensive inflammatory processes in .

The composition of blood in each person is individual and may vary depending on various biological processes .

In the human body, various chemical processes occur. One of the most important and complex is blood formation .

A low white blood cell count makes the body vulnerable to the pathogenic effects of viruses and bacteria. His correction may .

The number of leukocytes is an important indicator for the diagnosis of pathological conditions. In the body, white blood cells are constantly produced, and their content in the blood can change throughout the day. How are these cells produced and what role do they play in the human body?

Several types of shaped elements float in the blood, which support the health of the whole organism. White cells inside which there is a nucleus are called white blood cells. Their feature is the ability to penetrate the capillary wall and enter the intercellular space. It is there that they find foreign particles and absorb them, normalizing the vital activity of the cells of the human body.

White blood cells include several types of cells that are slightly different in origin and appearance. The most popular is their division according to morphological characters.

The ratio of these cells is the same in all healthy people and is expressed by the leukocyte formula. By changing the number of any kind of cells, doctors draw conclusions about the nature of the pathological process.

How to increase white blood cells

If the number of leukocytes has decreased due to weakened immunity, then to increase this indicator, you need to adjust your diet. What foods increase white blood cells? These include:

  • beetroot juice and pomegranate;
  • fresh fruits, especially red ones;
  • oat and buckwheat.

You should also pay attention to the fact that offal and meat should be removed from the diet.

In addition, it is also necessary to use drug therapy in order to increase white blood cells, which is prescribed only by a doctor. Very good results can be achieved after using the following drugs:

  1. Leukogen, which is completely non-toxic and not able to accumulate. The course of admission should be 1-3 weeks.
  2. Leukomax, which is administered subcutaneously, is recommended mainly for neutropenia. It is used strictly under the supervision of a specialist.

White blood cell deficiency

Leukopenia in an adult is a condition when the number of leukocytes is below 4 * 10 9 / L. This can be caused by malignant diseases, the effects of radiation, vitamin deficiencies or problems with blood formation.

Leukopenia leads to the rapid development of various infections, reducing the body’s resistance. A person feels chills, body temperature rises, a breakdown and exhaustion appear. The body is trying to compensate for the lack of defense cells, resulting in an increase in the spleen. This condition is very dangerous and requires the mandatory identification of the cause and treatment.

Folk remedies

If leukopenia is not caused by congenital diseases, then the following folk remedies can be used:

  1. Mix two parts of flower pollen with one part of natural honey. Let it brew for 3 days, after which the finished product should be taken one teaspoon in the morning, washed down with warm water.
  2. For a month, use a decoction based on oat grains. To prepare it, you need to pour three tablespoons of purified raw material into 300 ml of water, let it brew for 10 minutes, and filter. At a time, 50 ml of the finished product is drunk in the morning and in the evening.

In conclusion, it is worth noting that the main function of white blood cells in human blood is to protect the body from various harmful viruses and bacteria. However, a deviation from the norm of this indicator is not always associated with the presence of a disease.

Excess white blood cells

The number of leukocytes above 9 * 10 9 / l is considered an excess of the norm and is called leukocytosis. A physiological increase that does not require treatment can be caused by eating, physical activity, some hormonal bursts (pregnancy, premenstrual period).

The following causes of leukocytosis lead to pathological conditions:

  1. Infectious diseases.
  2. Inflammatory processes of microbial and non-microbial etiology.
  3. Blood loss.
  4. Burns.

Treatment of this condition may include the following groups of drugs:

  1. Antibiotics. They help eliminate the infection that caused leukocytosis and prevent complications.
  2. Steroid hormones. Quickly and effectively relieve inflammation, which leads to a decrease in white blood cell production.
  3. Antihistamines. Also help reduce inflammation.

The tactics for treating any changes in the white blood cell count depends on the cause that caused them.

The importance of white blood cells is told to children at school. This topic is not an exaggeration. Good immunity ensures the health and good quality of life of every person. To determine the state of the immune system, you can take a blood test in the absence of disease. A competent doctor will help to interpret the results correctly.

White blood cells in the blood of the human body take the honorable place of the defender. These are cells that always know where the immune defense weakens and the disease begins to develop. The name of these blood cells is white blood cells. In fact, this is a generalized name for a conglomerate of specific cells that protect the body from the adverse effects of all types of foreign microorganisms.

Their normal level ensures the full functioning of the organs and tissues of the body. With fluctuations in the level of cells, various disturbances arise in its functioning, or otherwise, fluctuations in the level of leukocytes characterize the occurrence of problems in the body.

White blood cells are large blood cells in the form of balls that have no color.

The content of leukocytes in the blood is less than that of red blood cells.

White bodies are the product of red bone marrow. White cells of various types circulate in the human body, differing in their structure, origin, and functions. But all of them are the most important cells of the immune system and solve one main problem – protecting the body from external and internal enemy microorganisms.

White bodies are able to actively move not only through the circulatory system, but also penetrate through the walls of blood vessels, seep into tissues and organs. Constantly monitoring the situation in the body, when a danger is detected (the appearance of foreign agents), leukocytes quickly find themselves in the right place, first moving through the blood and then moving independently with the help of pseudopods.

Finding a threat, they capture and digest alien bodies. With a large number of foreign bodies penetrated into the tissues, white cells, absorbing them, greatly increase in size and die. In this case, substances are released that cause the development of an inflammatory reaction. It can manifest itself as edema, an increase in temperature.

The process of destruction of foreign bodies is called phagocytosis, and the cells that carry it out are called phagocytes. White blood cells not only destroy foreign agents, but also cleanse the body. They dispose of unnecessary elements – the remains of pathogenic microbes and decayed white bodies.

Another function of blood cells is the synthesis of antibodies to destroy pathogenic elements (pathogenic microbes). Antibodies can make a person immune to certain diseases that he has previously suffered.

Also, leukocytes affect the metabolic processes and the supply of tissues with necessary hormones, enzymes, and other substances.

Life cycle

Protecting the body, a large number of white bodies die. To maintain their level near normal, that is, in the required amount, they are constantly produced in the spleen, bone marrow, lymph nodes and tonsils. The life cycle of Taurus averages 12 days.

Substances released during the destruction of white bodies attract other leukocytes to the site of penetration of enemy microorganisms. Destroying these bodies, as well as other damaged cells of the body, white blood cells die in large quantities.

The purulent masses present in the inflamed tissues are clusters of dead white bodies.

The norm of leukocytes in the blood in the results of the analysis is indicated in absolute values. Blood cell levels are measured in units per liter of blood.

For reference.
It should be noted that the content of white cells in the blood is not a constant, but may vary depending on the state of the body and time of day. However, in adults in a healthy state, these changes do not deviate much from the norm.

The concentration of bodies usually increases slightly in the following cases:

  • after meals;
  • By the evening;
  • after active physical labor or mental stress.

The norm of the level of white cells in humans is 4-9 x109 / L. Given the total amount of blood in the human body, we can say that there are from 20 to 45 billion lymphocytes.

Normal White Taurus Level:

  • In men, the normal value of the indicator is 4,4-10×109 / l. In the male body, the number of white bodies is less susceptible to fluctuations than in other groups of people.
  • In women, this indicator is more variable, the value of 3,3-10×109 / l is considered standard. The level of this indicator may vary depending on menstruation and hormonal levels.
  • For pregnant women, an indicator of up to 12-15 x 109 / l should not cause concern, since such a value is considered normal for this physiological condition.
    The increased level of the indicator is explained by the reaction of the mother’s immune system to the presence of the fetus. At a higher level of bodies, the condition of a woman must be closely monitored, because of the high risk of premature birth.
  • The norm of the indicator in children depends on their age category.

What are these cells?

The size of representative cells of the leukocyte community varies from 7,5 to 20 microns, in addition, they are not identical in their morphological structure and differ in functional purpose.

White blood elements are formed in the bone marrow and lymph nodes, mainly live in the tissues, using blood vessels as a route for movement through the body. White cells of peripheral blood comprise 2 pools:

  • Circulating pool – white blood cells move through the blood vessels;
  • Marginal pool – cells adhere to the endothelium and, in case of danger, react first (in case of Le leukocytosis, they transfer from this pool to circulating).

White blood cells move, like amoebas, heading either to the scene of the accident – positive chemotaxis
, or from him – negative chemotaxis

Before you kill a dangerous cell, you must find it. Killer lymphocytes tirelessly seek out these cells. They focus on the so-called histocompatibility antigens (tissue compatibility antigens) located on cell membranes. The fact is that if a virus enters a cell, then this cell condemns itself to death to save the body and, as it were, throws a “black flag” signaling the introduction of the virus into it.

This “black flag” is information about the invading virus, which is located in the form of a group of molecules next to histocompatibility antigens. This information is “seen” by the lymphocyte killer. He gains this ability after training in the thymus gland. Control over learning outcomes is very tight. If a lymphocyte has not learned to distinguish a healthy cell from a sick one, it itself is inevitably subject to destruction.

Thus, white blood cells play a huge role in protecting the body from pathogenic agents and malignant cells. These are small tireless warriors of the body’s main defenses – the system of interferon and immunity. They are massively dying in the struggle, but from the spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow, tonsils and other organs of the immune system where white blood cells are formed in humans, they are replaced by many newly formed cells, ready, like their predecessors, to sacrifice their lives in the name of salvation of the human body. White blood cells provide our survival in an environment filled with a huge number of various bacteria and viruses.

Human blood consists of a liquid substance (plasma) only 55-60%, and the rest of its volume falls on the share of uniform elements. Perhaps the most surprising representative of them are white blood cells.

They are distinguished not only by the presence of a core, especially large sizes and unusual structure – a unique function assigned to this shaped element is unique
. About her, as well as about other features of white blood cells, will be discussed in this article.

Thus, leukocytes play a huge role in protecting the body against disease-causing agents and malignant cells. These are small tireless warriors of the body’s main defenses — interferon and immunity systems. They massively die in the fight, but from the spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow, tonsils and other organs of the immune system, where human leukocytes are formed, they are replaced by many newly formed cells that are ready, like their predecessors, to sacrifice their lives in salvation of the human body. Leukocytes ensure our survival in an environment filled with a huge number of different bacteria and viruses.

Leukocyte structure

The structure of different types of white blood cells is different, and they look different. Common to all is the presence of a core and the absence of its own color. The cytoplasm can be granular or homogeneous.


Neutrophils are polymorphonuclear leukocytes. They have a round shape, their diameter is about 12 microns. In the cytoplasm there are two types of granules: primary (azurophilic) and secondary (specific). Specific small, lighter and make up about 85% of all granules, contain bactericidal substances, the protein lactoferin.

Ausorophilic are larger, they contain about 15%, they contain enzymes, myeloperoxidase. In a special dye, the granules are lilac, and the cytoplasm is pink. The granularity is small, consists of glycogen, lipids, amino acids, RNA, enzymes, due to which there is a splitting and synthesis of substances.


These granulocytes reach a diameter of 12 microns, have monomorphic large granularity. The cytoplasm contains oval and spherical granules. Granularity is colored with acidic dyes in pink, the cytoplasm becomes blue. Granules of two types are present: primary (azurophilic) and secondary, or specific, filling almost the entire cytoplasm.


This variety of leukocytes with polymorphic granularity has sizes from 8 to 10 microns. Granules of different sizes are stained with the main dye in a dark blue-violet color, the cytoplasm in pink. Granularity contains glycogen, RNA, histamine, heparin, enzymes. Organelles are located in the cytoplasm: ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, glycogen, mitochondria, Golgi apparatus. The core most often consists of two segments.


By size, they can be divided into three types: large (from 15 to 18 microns), medium (about 13 microns), small (6-9 microns). The last in the blood most. The shape of the lymphocytes is oval or round. The nucleus is large, occupies almost the entire cell and turns blue. A small amount of cytoplasm contains RNA, glycogen, enzymes, nucleic acids, adenosine triphosphate.


These are the largest white cells that can reach a diameter of 20 microns or more. The cytoplasm contains vacuoles, lysosomes, polyribosomes, ribosomes, mitochondria, and the Golgi apparatus. The nucleus of monocytes is large, irregular, bean-shaped or oval in shape, can have bulges and dents, is painted in reddish-purple. The cytoplasm acquires a gray-blue or gray-blue color when exposed to a dye. It contains enzymes, saccharides, RNA.

White blood cells in healthy men and women are contained in the following ratio:

  • segmented neutrophils – from 47 to 72%;
  • stab neutrophils – from 1 to 6%;
  • eosinophils – from 1 to 4%;
  • basophils – about 0,5%;
  • lymphocytes – from 19 to 37%;
  • monocytes – from 3 to 11%.

The absolute level of leukocytes in the blood of men and women normally has the following meanings:

  • stab neutrophils – 0,04-0,3X10⁹ per liter;
  • segmented neutrophils – 2-5,5X10⁹ per liter;
  • young neutrophils – absent;
  • basophils – 0,065X10⁹ per liter;
  • eosinophils – 0,02-0,3X10⁹ per liter;
  • lymphocytes – 1,2-3X10⁹ per liter;
  • monocytes – 0,09-0,6X10⁹ per liter.


These granulocytes reach a diameter of 12 microns, have monomorphic large granularity. The cytoplasm contains oval and spherical granules. Granularity is colored with acidic dyes in pink, the cytoplasm becomes blue. Granules of two types are present: primary (azurophilic) and secondary, or specific, filling almost the entire cytoplasm.



Erythrocytes and leukocytes are present in the blood. Their structure and functions are different from each other. The erythrocyte is a cell that has the shape of a biconcave disc. It does not contain a nucleus, and most of the cytoplasm is occupied by a protein, which is called hemoglobin. It consists of an iron atom and a protein part, has a complex structure. Hemoglobin carries oxygen in the body.

Red blood cells appear in the bone marrow from erythroblast cells. Most red blood cells have a biconcave shape, and the rest may vary. For example, they can be spherical, oval, bitten, cup-shaped, etc. It is known that the shape of these cells can be disturbed due to various diseases. Each red blood cell is in the blood from 90 to 120 days, and then dies. Hemolysis is the destruction of red blood cells, which occurs mainly in the spleen, as well as in the liver and blood vessels.


The structure of white blood cells and platelets is also different. Platelets do not have a nucleus; they are small oval or round cells. If these cells are active, then outgrowths form on them, they resemble a star. Platelets appear in the bone marrow from the megakaryoblast. They “work” for only 8 to 11 days, then die in the liver, spleen or lungs.

Very important. They are able to maintain the integrity of the vascular wall, restore it in case of damage. Platelets form a blood clot and thereby stop bleeding.

Each population has its own tasks.

It is difficult to overestimate the importance of these shaped elements in ensuring human health, because their functional responsibilities are primarily aimed at protecting the body from many unfavorable factors at different levels of immunity:

  • Some (granulocytes) – immediately go into a “battle”, trying to prevent the spread of “enemy” substances in the body;
  • Others (lymphocytes) – help at all stages of the confrontation, provide antibody formation;
  • Third (macrophages) – remove the “battlefield”, cleansing the body of toxic products.

Perhaps the table below will more readily be able to tell the reader about the function of each population and the interaction of these cells within the community.

The community of white blood cells is a complex system, where, however, each leukocyte population, when functioning, shows independence, performing its own tasks unique to it. When decoding the test results, the doctor determines the ratio of the cells of the leukocyte link and the shift of the formula to the right or left, if any.

What does a white blood cell look like and what shape does it have

White blood cells are spherical cells with a diameter of up to 20 microns. Their number in humans is from 4 to 8 thousand per 1 mm3 of blood.

The variety of white blood cell types made it impossible to unify their structure.

In addition, the organelles that make up the cells are distinguished.

Young cells
are being developed
from multipotent stem cells in the bone marrow.
In this case, to generate a working
A white blood cell can be involved in 7-9 divisions, and a clone cell of a neighboring one takes the place of a divided stem cell. This maintains the constancy of the population.


Each type of white blood cell has its own life span.

Here is how many healthy human cells live:

  • from 2 hours to 4 days –
  • from 8 days to 2 weeks – granulocytes;
  • from 3 days to 6 months (sometimes up to several years) – lymphocytes.

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Tatyana Jakowenko

Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.