White Blood Cells: Defense and Immunity

White Blood Cells: Defense and Immunity

Author: Aaron Mullally

This lesson will describe how white blood cells play a role in defending our body's defense.

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White Blood Cells

Video Images: Neutrophils, Creative Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Neutrophils.jpg; Neutrophil illustration, Creative Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Neutrophil.png; Artist Rendition of Eosiniphil, Creative Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eosinophil_1.png; Eosinphil image, http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/af/PBEosinophil.jpeg Lymphocyte; Creative Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lymphocyte2.jpg Lymphocyte; Creative Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lymphocyte.png Monocyte; Creative Commons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Monocyte.jpg Monocyte; Creative Commons:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Monocyte.png

Source: Aaron M

Terms to Know

Basophils store the chemicals heparin and histamine and are used to promote inflammation (example: allergies). Basophils are distinguished by their s-shaped nucleus and large granules.


Eosinophils attack parasites that enter the body (example: worms) and are distinguished by their bi-lobed nucleus.


A term used to classify white blood cells by their visible granules in their cytoplasm.


Are also called white blood cells, leukocytes are the immune system/defense cells of the body. There are five major types of leukocytes in the body: neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, monocytes, lymphocytes.


There are two types of lymphocytes, T & B cells; lymphocytes are responsible for carrying out specific immune responses and primarily attack cells (cancers, virally infected cells).


Monocytes are circulating phagocytes that are more than likely on their way to migrating into tissues throughout the body. Monocytes adapt to their tissue environments and look different than in the circulating blood once they migrate into tissues. Monocytes are classified by their large, horseshoe shaped nucleus.


Also called first responder cells, neutrophils attack bacteria invaders that enter the body. Neutrophils are distinguished by their 3-5 lobed thin, horseshoe shaped nucleus.

White Blood Cells

Are also called leukocytes, white blood cells are the immune system/defense cells of the body. There are five major types of white blood cells in the body: neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, monocytes, lymphocytes.