It’s time to get up close and personal with your blood. Well, not really, but it’s important to understand the basic components that make up our blood. One of those components is white blood cells, which are also called leukocytes.
You could think of white blood cells as the defensive part of our blood. They work hard to keep us protected against bacteria, viruses, and other foreign materials. Interestingly, not all white blood cells perform that same way.
There are some that will absorb perceived threats, later digesting them and, therefore, removing the danger. Other white blood cells fight off threats by releasing an enzyme that destroys any infectious material. Either way, our white blood cells are located throughout our bodies and are essential for keeping us healthy. Let’s take a look at the different types of white blood cells.
These white blood cells can be found in all of our tissues, and they’re the type that absorbs threats to get rid of them. Macrophages keep our immune system nice and strong, although they also help with the development of sex cells and steroid hormones.
These are a type of white blood cell that is present in our skin, nose, lungs, and the gastrointestinal tract. Dendritic cells process information about pathogens in our body and send signals to the lymph nodes and organs that something is amiss.
These cells are responsible for releasing antibodies into our system to fight off harmful invaders. If the threat is particularly severe, B cells may reproduce and become plasma and memory cells. Memory B cells retain information about pathogens, which helps our immune system quickly respond to familiar viruses and infections.
There are other types of white blood cells, as well. They have distinct methods for destroying infected cells and helping the body respond to allergies.