Wednesday, December 1, 2021

All About White Blood Cells

Although white blood cells account for a small portion of our body as a
whole, their impact is big. White blood cells, also known as leukocytes,
protect us from illness and disease. White blood cells are always at war,
they flow through our bloodstream to fight viruses, bacteria, and other
foreign invaders that are a threat to our health. White blood cells are
made in the bone marrow, then stored in our blood and lymph tissues.
Because some white blood cells called neutrophils have a short lifespan,
our bone marrow is constantly making them. Other types of white blood cells
are monocytes, lymphocytes, basophils, and eosinophils.

Monocytes have a longer lifespan than most white blood cells and help kill
bacteria. Lymphocytes create antibodies to fight against bacteria, viruses,
and other harmful invaders. Basophils are small cells that sound an alarm
when infectious agents invade the blood, by secreting a chemical called
histamine to mark allergic diseases. Neutrophils are the most common type
of white blood cells, they are the most dangerous and first line of defense
as they are most effective in killing and digesting bacteria or fungi.
Lastly, eosinophils attack and kill parasites or cancer cells, and also
help with allergic reactions.

White blood cell disorders depend on the white blood cell concentration in
our body, this can be when the count is too high or too low. White blood
cell count can be low if they are being destroyed faster than they are
replenished, or when the bone marrow completely stops producing them to
keep the body healthy. When white blood cell count is too low, the body is
at great risk for infection and disease, which can spiral into a serious
health threat. Various diseases and conditions can impact the white blood
cell levels, including a weak immune system, blood cancer, infections,
disorder, and certain medicines.

Weak immune systems are often caused by illnesses such as HIV/AIDS or by
cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which destroy
white blood cells. In cases where white blood cell count is too high, there
is an infection that causes this since white blood cells are rapidly
multiplying to fight off the bacteria or virus. Myelodysplastic syndrome is
a condition that causes abnormal productions of blood cells, including
white blood cells in the bone marrow. Cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma
may cause unrestricted growth of an abnormal type of blood cell in the bone
marrow. Lastly, some medicines used in treatment can simply raise or lower
white blood cells count.

Tugba Kahveci (8)


  1. Interesting post. I read that average white blood cell counts are 4,500-11,000 WBC/microliter. I was aware that vitamin deficiencies and cancer treatments can caused lower white blood cell counts, but I just learned that arthritis can also cause deficiency as well. From reading your post I'm now interested to learn how white blood cell transfusions work, or if they even exist?
    - Declan Downing

    1. Hi thanks for engaging with the article and asking a great question. From what I know, there has been cases in which white blood cell transfusions were given to people with infections causing low white blood cell concentrations.
      - Tugba Kahveci

  2. Hi Tugba!
    Great post! White blood cells are a very important aspect of our immune systems. Your article highlights specific aspects of them that make them so important. Again, great post!
    Sarah Conant

    1. Hi, I am glad you enjoyed reading the article and I agree white blood cells are very important to our health and therefore thought it would be a great topic to discuss.

  3. Hi, I am glad you enjoyed reading the article and I agree white blood cells are very important to our health and therefore thought it would be a great topic to discuss.
    - Tugba Kahveci

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