White Blood Cell Types: What You Need To Know And What Each Type Does

White Blood Cells (WBCs) form up to 1% of the blood volume. The human blood majorly contains three different types of cells. These are the red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), platelets.

Platelets help with blood clotting and the RBCs help in transporting oxygen in the blood to various parts of the body among other secondary functions. In the present article, the WBCs, their types, and functions are discussed.

What Are White Blood Cells?

The White Blood Cells (WBCs) work in the defense of your body, as part of the immune system. For better understanding, consider the immune system as the defense headquarters of the body. On the flip side, think of other WBCs as the soldiers of the body.

These cells are responsible for the following:

  • Identifying intruders in the body
  • Killing harmful bacteria
  • Creating antibodies which help safeguard you against future illnesses from the same virus and bacteria

The Different Types of WBCs

WBCs can be divided into the following types:

  1. Eosinophils

There are white blood cells which respond and fight bacteria. They also help in dealing with parasite-caused infections and are known for their role in dealing with allergy symptoms. Eosinophils often end up mistaking common allergy-causing agents such as pollen as invaders.

As a result, they trigger an immune response, which shows the symptoms of an allergy. Eosinophils constitute 1-6% of all the WBCs.

  1. Monocytes

These are the largest types of WBCs. Approximately, 5% of the WBCs are monocytes. These are primarily responsible for cleaning up dead cells by ingesting them. Therefore, you can recognize monocytes as the sweepers among the WBCs.

Monocytes are produced in the bone marrow and move in the blood circulation for 1-3 days before moving into the tissues and cleaning dead cells. Monocytes come in three types known as the foam cells dendritic cells, and the macrophages.

  1. Basophils

Basophils shoulder the responsibility for allergic reactions. These protect you against parasites and bacteria as well. These WBCs trigger the release of the chemicals, heparin and histamine.

Heparin is a blood-thinning substance. On the other hand, histamine widens blood vessels which encourages more blood flow to the infected tissues.

  1. Lymphocytes

Lymphocytes are found in the lymph and circulate in the lymphatic system. These help produce antigens, which remember the invader in the body. This helps protect the body in the future from the same foreign invader.

There are two types of these WBCs including T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes. The T cells work to attack and kill pathogens directly. On the other hand, the B cells work for humoral immunity. In other words, they work to remember the invader by producing antibodies which remember the infection.

  1. Neutrophils

These work as the body’s first line of defense, working against bacteria, and fungi. Neutrophils make up for about half of the WBC population. These are the first responders when the body is attacked.

Neutrophils signal other cells and alert them when action is needed. So, whenever an invader enters the body, the bone marrow releases neutrophils.