56 Lymphocytes

Michelle To and Valentin Villatoro

Notes: Can be characterized as being small or large depending on the amount of cytoplasm. Small lymphocytes are more uniform in appearance whereas large lymphocytes have a variable appearance.1

 

Nucleus-to-Cytoplasm Ratio: 5:1 to 2:1 1,2

 

Nucleoli: May be visible 1,2

 

Nucleus:1,2

Round, oval, or indented

Dark purple, dense chromatin (heterochromatin)

 

Cytoplasm:1,2

Pale blue

Scant to moderate

Vacuoles may be present

 

Granules:1,2

Large: Azurophilic granules may be present

Small: typically lack granules (agranular)

 

Normal % in Bone Marrow: 5-15% 2

 

Normal % in Peripheral Blood: 20-40% 2


Lymphocyte Lineage

Lymphocytes can be characterized into two cell types depending on the site of cell maturation:

 

1. B Cells

Lymphocytes that mature in the bone marrow. These cells are lymphocytes that are able to mature into plasma cells and take part in antibody production.1

 

Specific surface markers:1,3

CD10, CD19, CD20,  D21, CD22, D24, CD38

 

2. T Cells

 

Lymphocytes that mature in the thymus and lymphoid tissues. When these cells become activated, they are able to take part in cell-mediated immunity.1

 

Specific surface markers:1,3

CD2, CD3, CD4, CD5, CD7, CD8, CD25


References:

1. Williams L, Finnegan K. Lymphocytes. In: Clinical laboratory hematology. 3rd ed. New Jersey: Pearson; 2015. p. 122-43.

2. Rodak BF, Carr JH. Lymphocyte maturation. In: Clinical hematology atlas. 5th ed. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Inc.; 2017. p. 79-88.

3. Czader M. Flow cytometric analysis in hematologic disorders. In: Rodak’s hematology clinical applications and principles. 5th ed. St. Louis, Missouri: Saunders; 2015. p. 543-60.

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A Laboratory Guide to Clinical Hematology by Michelle To and Valentin Villatoro is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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