White blood cells

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White Blood Cells (leucocytes) are all of  the cells in the blood which, unlike Red Blood Cells, do not contain haemoglobin. They make up about 1% of blood and have an average life time of 4 days.They are formed from haematopoetic (multipotent) stem cells in the bone marrow. From there the white blood cells migrate into the tissues in response to chemokines to take place in the immune response [1].

Types of White Blood Cell

The three main types of blood cell are Granulocytes(neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils), Monocytes, and Lymphocytes
Cell type  % of total white blood cells Function
Lymphocyte 30 B lymphocytes make antibodies. T lymphocytes target cells infected by viruses
Monocyte 5 Form macrophages for phagocytosis
Neutrophil 60 Phagocytosis
Eosinophil 2.5 Target parasites
Basophil 2.5 Secrete Histamine


  1. Alberts, Johnson, Lewis, Raff, Roberts and Walter (2008) Molecular Biology of The Cell, fifth edition, New York: Garland Science. 23:1451,1455
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