Why White Blood Cells (WBCs) do not react to foreign bodies like sperm?

Why White Blood Cells (WBCs) do not react to foreign bodies like sperm?

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Why do the white blood cells allow foreign bodies like sperm to exist inside body cavity without any reaction?

White blood cells function is to fight against foreign bodies (from the text books).

Majority of white blood cells in general are present only within blood vessels, lymph vessels and lymph nodes. In addition various organs have locally adapted specialised immune cells. For example brain has microglia, Liver has kupfer cells, etc… Specialised immune cells are present along the mucosal linings which are named differently in different regions - Peyer's patch in the jejunum and ileum, tonsils in oral cavity, adenoids in the nasopharynx, etc…

As sperm do not enter blood vessels, only local mucosal immunity will act on them. There is a local immune response to the sperm in the vaginal mucosa. However, the immune response to the sperm is transient. Several hypotheses have been put forth to explain this:

  1. The seminal plasma suppresses the immune response. This is supported by the fact that sperm, if introduced without seminal plasma, do elicit an immune response--however this suppression seems to be inconsistent
  2. Insemination might activate a sequence that results in active immune tolerance to paternal antigens (antigens present in sperm)

For details see here:

Studies show semen does mount a considerable immune response in the female mucosa, however:

Seminal plasma redirects the differentiation of human dendritic cells (DCs) toward a regulatory profile. By promoting a tolerogenic profile in DCs, seminal plasma might favor fertility, but might also compromise the capacity of the receptive partner to mount an effective immune response against sexually transmitted pathogens.

Semen promotes the differentiation of tolerogenic dendritic cells.

7 Interesting Facts About White Blood Cells

1. Our bodies are a wondrous thing that we can’t even wrap our heads around when it comes to it’s complete functionality. One of the main things that we look to when it comes to the proper operation of our body is our blood system. The components of it are plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

2. Although, our white blood cells (WBC) only make up 1% of our blood, they are extremely important and significant to the proper running of our bodies. White blood cells are technically termed leukocytes. They are essential to protecting us from disease and illness. One might think of them as immunity cells that are constantly fighting to keep us safe during the “good fight”.

3. White blood cells course through our bloodstreams to battle bacteria, virus, and anything that tries to infiltrate our bodies to cause us harm. Basically white blood cells are our bodyguards. When an area of our bodies become distressed they soldier up and rush to destroy whatever is attacking us. We produce around 100 billion WBC a day.

4. Leukocytes are produced inside the bone marrow. Our bone marrow is constantly producing white blood cells because they have a limited lifespan of only 1 to 3 days. WBC are stored in the blood and the lymphatic tissues. The number of leukocytes is an indicator of your health. 4,000-11,000 per mL of blood is the normal count, which is 1% of the total volume of blood in an adult.

5. There are 5 types of white blood cells. Monocytes help break down bacteria in our bodies. They have the longest life span of the group. Lymphocytes create the antibodies that destroy the harmful viruses and bacteria that infiltrate our bodies. Neutrophils are the most populous of the group. They are the first line of defense when it comes to infections. They slaughter and consume the fungi and bacteria. Basophils are the Paul Revere of the group. They are the “alarm sounders”. They expel chemicals to help control our immune response. Last you have Eosinophils which kill cancer cells.

6. There are a few reasons that influence white blood cell count that are innocent such as from injury, smoking, emotional stress, or even inflammation. But there are definitely more life threatening reasons as well. One of the most well known reasons is cancer of the blood or more commonly referred to as leukemia. A leukemia patient can have upwards of 50,000 WBC in just a drop of blood. Another reason is a weakened immune system caused from having HIV/AIDS. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause this as well.

7. Your white blood cell count can be tested through a regular blood test that your family physician can order for you. If your count is too high or too low it can indicate a disorder. So it is good to be aware of the count and to be proactive regarding your health.

How to Increase White Blood Cells

White blood cells (often known as leukocytes) are an essential part of human immune system. When the count of these cells is less than 3500 WBC/ml of blood, the condition is known as leukopenia. This condition is associated with symptoms like headache, sore throat, sneezing, sore gums, diarrhea, cramps, fever etc. Apart from sufferers of leukopenia, individuals who have white blood cells count below 4000 WBC/ml of blood are required to take a few measures in order to elevate these cells in the body. The easiest and yet simplest method to resume your normal white blood cells count is to make some changes in your diet and lifestyle.

Causes of Low White Blood Cells

Before jumping to the measures you might want to know what may possibly cause your white blood cell count to go down. Several reasons can contribute to leukopenia. Generally excessive consumption of neutrophils in the setting of an ongoing infection or their decreased production in the body may be the primary reason however it is not always the case. Listed below are some additional causes of leukopenia:

  • Copper and zinc deficiency
  • Tuberculosis
  • Psittacosis
  • Enlargement of spleen i.e. splenomegaly
  • Rickettsial infections
  • Folate deficiency
  • Influenza
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Dengue fever
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Aplastic anemia

How to Increase White Blood Cells

Listed below are some steps by following which you can increase your white blood cells count.

1. Maintain Healthy Lifestyle

In case you are overweight you need to lose some weight as to bring your weight somewhere in the normal range. Being obese is invariably a significant hurdle towards obtaining good immunity. Scientific studies suggest that people who are overweight face more difficulty in fighting off an infection.

Drinking lots of water can not only help in boosting the immune system but also helps in flushing various toxins that may affect white cell consumption in the body.

Exercise and regular physical activity is believed to be an excellent booster of immune system. It is better to exercise moderately as too much exercise can affect the health and wellness negatively.

Relax not only for immunity but even for your overall health you need to avoid stress and keep yourself relaxed. It is no surprise that stress is referred to as a silent killer which in turn negatively affects the immune system.

Minimize the intake of sugary foods and beverages that also affect the production of white blood cells.

Eliminate all sorts of unhealthy fats from your diet. The polysaturated fats found in the vegetable oils like sunflower and safflower oil act as an obstacle to a healthy and stable immune system.

2. Eat Healthy Foods

First remember that you should eliminate unhealthy fat and sugar in your diet. There are many foods that you can consume for boosting the immune system and increasing the white blood cells in your body, which include:

Along with carrots other dark green leafy, orange, yellow and red veggies supply a lot of beta carotene that helps in protecting the immune system. Also its special protective effects are seen on the thymus gland. Beta carotene along with other carotenes enhances the production of white blood cells. Consuming the foods that contain beta carotene actually help in fighting off the infections.

The best of all foods that can elevate the count of white blood cells is salmon. Professor of pediatrics in University of California, Dr. Bill Sears describes on his website that the omega-3 fatty acids contained in salmon not only help in increasing the number of white blood cells but also strengthen them in order to prepare these to fighting the disease causing bacteria. Therefore consuming foods such as salmon helps in fighting off infection and strengthening immune system. According to Cancer Supportive Care Programs eating uncooked or raw fish can result in fish-borne diseases so you have to make sure to cook salmon fully before eating it

You can fulfill your optimal daily vitamin requirements from a cup full of kale. It is an antioxidant which helps in white blood cells production and assists the body in fighting cancer cells. By consuming the vitamin A present in kale, the capability of antibodies to counter invading bodies increases.

According to Dr. Bill Sears, cooked turkey is a food that is enriched with zinc that helps in increasing the white blood cells count. He strongly recommended taking 15-20mg of zinc every day. Whereas, a 3 ounce dark meat turkey serving can supply only 3.8mg zinc. The proteins present in the turkey can boost your energy levels and strengthen the immune system. Before eating it, make sure you cook the turkey to the temperature of 140 degrees F or above. Cancer Supportive Care Programs suggests that food-borne infectious agents or pathogens have a higher propensity to cause disease in individuals with a low white cell count.

3. Take Supplements

Listed below are some supplements that play a major role in strengthening the immune system and increasing the white blood cell count.

My White Blood Cell Count Is Alittle Higher Than Usual. What Could Cause That? A Yeast Infection? Or Something More Serious Like A Std Or Cancer?

A high white blood cell count is known by the medical name of leukocytosis and can be present for a number of reasons. One cause of leukocytosis is bacterial infections, including yeast infections and impetigo. Other causes are allergic disorders such as asthma, hay fever and dermatitis.

There are occasions when a high white blood cell count can be caused by leukaemia and chronic infections such as malaria, bacterial endocarditis and tuberculosis. The reason people suffer from a high white blood cell count can also vary. The most common reasons are an increased release of leukocytes, which are found throughout the body. These leukocytes are released from the storage pools found in the bone marrow. Other reasons include the increase of precursor cells in the marrow, and a decreased number of leukocytes on the vessel walls.

There are also a few medications that can cause the white blood cell count to increase, including lithium and corticosteroids. Leukocytosis is classed as a laboratory discovery and is similar in classification to a fever, which is also not recognized medically as an actual disease. A count of between 25 and 30 is classed as a leukemoid reaction, which is a reaction of the bone marrow to stressful situations, trauma or infections.

Leukemia, although it can be a cause of a high white blood cell count, is when the white blood cells are present in the peripheral blood. There are two types of leukemia, acute leukemia, when the white blood cells are immature, and chronic leukemia which is when the white blood cells are mature but not functioning. There are a number of medications available to lower the white blood cell count and these are normally prescribed after visiting a doctor, who can establish the cause of the high white blood cell count.

5 White Blood Cells Types and Their Functions

White blood cells are also referred to as WBCs or leukocytes. They are the cells that make up the majority of the immune system, which is the part of the body that protects itself against foreign substances and various types of infections. Leukocytes are made in the bone marrow from multipotent cells called hematopoietic stem cells. Leukocytes exist in all parts of the body, including the connective tissue, lymph system, and the bloodstream. There are five different types of white blood cells, each of which has a different funtions in the immune system.

Five White Blood Cells Types and Their Functions

There are two different kinds of white blood cells and each looks different from one another under the microscope. These include granulocytes and agranulocytes.

  • Granulocytes have visible granules or grains inside the cells that have different cell functions. Types of granulocytes include basophils, neutrophils, and eosinophils.
  • Agranulocytes are free of visible grains under the microscope and include lymphocytes and monocytes.

Together, they coordinate with one another to fight off things like cancer, cellular damage, and infectious diseases. Below, detailed information about each type will be discussed.

1. Neutrophils

Neutrophils are the most common type of white blood cell in the body with levels of between 2000 to 7500 cells per mm 3 in the bloodstream. Neutrophils are medium-sized white blood cells with irregular nuclei and many granules that perform various functions within the cell.

Function: Neutrophils function by attaching to the walls of the blood vessels, blocking the passageway of germs that try to gain access to the blood through a cut or infectious area. Neutrophils are the first cells to reach an area where a breach in the body has been made. They kill germs by means of a process known as phagocytosis or &ldquocell-eating&rdquo. Besides eating bacteria one-by-one, they also release a burst of super oxides that have the ability to kill many bacteria at the same time.

2. Lymphocytes

Lymphocytes are small, round cells that have a large nucleus within a small amount of cytoplasm. They have an important function in the immune system, being major players in the humoral immune system, which is the part of the immune system that relates to antibody production. Lymphocytes tend to take up residence in lymphatic tissues, including the spleen, tonsils, and lymph nodes. There are about 1300 to 4000 lymphocytes per mm 3 of blood.

Function: B lymphocytes make antibodies, which is one of the final steps in disease resistance. When B lymphocytes make antibodies, they prime pathogens for destruction and then make memory cells ready that can go into action at any time, remembering a previous infection with a specific pathogen. T lymphocytes are another type of lymphocyte, differentiated in the thymus and important in cell-mediated immunity.

3. Monocytes

Monocytes are the largest of the types of white blood cells. There are only about 200-800 monocytes per mm 3 of blood. Monocytes are agranulocytes, meaning they have few granules in the cytoplasm when seen under the microscope. Monocytes turn into macrophages when they exit the bloodstream.

Function: As macrophages, monocytes do the job of phagocytosis (cell-eating) of any type of dead cell in the body, whether it is a somatic cell or a dead neutrophil. Because of their large size, they have the ability to digest large foreign particles in a wound unlike other kinds of white blood cells.

4. Eosinophils

There aren&rsquot that many eosinophils in the bloodstream&mdashonly about 40-400 cells per mm 3 of blood. They have large granules that help in cellular functions. Eosinophils are especially important when it comes to allergies and worm infestations.

Function: Eosinophils work by releasing toxins from their granules to kill pathogens. The main pathogens eosinophils act against are parasites and worms. High eosinophil counts are associated with allergic reactions.

5. Basophils

Basophils are the least frequent type of white blood cell, with only 0-100 cells per mm 3 of blood. Basophils have large granules that perform functions that are not well known. They are very colorful when stained and looked at under the microscope, making them easy to identify.

Function: Basophils have the ability to secrete anticoagulants and antibodies that have function against hypersensitivity reactions in the bloodstream. They act immediately as part of the immune system&rsquos action against foreign invaders. Basophils contain histamine, which dilates the vessels to bring more immune cells to the area of injury.

You can also learn types of white blood cells in greater detail from the video below:

Monitor Your White Blood Cell Counts

Your doctor will monitor your white blood cell count if there is evidence of infection or if you are on medication that may lower your white blood cell count. If you have an abnormal white blood cell count, you can have &ldquoleukopenia&rdquo, which means low white blood cell count, or &ldquoleukocytosis&rdquo, which is a high white blood cell count.

Leukopenia is a low white blood cell count that can be caused by damage to the bone marrow from things like medications, radiation, or chemotherapy. Folate or vitamin B12 deficiency can also result in it. So can lymphoma, in which cancer cells take over the bone marrow, preventing the release of the various types of white blood cells. HIV is another condition that can damage the production of white blood cells, leading to leukopenia.

Leukocytosis is a high white blood cell count that can be caused by a number of conditions, including various types of infections, inflammatory disease in your body, situations where are a high number of dead cells in the body, leukemia and allergies.

How Do White Blood Cells Fight Infections?

White blood cells help to recognize when a foreign and potentially harmful pathogen enters the body, and they respond by releasing antibodies, such as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which attach to the pathogen and work to eradicate it. A high amount of white blood cells are found in the lymph nodes, which is why a symptom or sign of infection in the body can be evident by swollen lymph nodes.

Depending on the nature of the pathogen that enters the body, the body's white blood cells can respond in various ways to fight it.

Some cell-damaging bacteria release toxins into the body. They do so by latching onto host cells to destroy them. This negative process can be accomplish by the bacteria either consuming the host cell's nutrients, releasing toxins into the cell, simply destroying the structure of the cell or causing the body to have a hypersensitive reaction. White blood cells can release anti-toxins to counteract the effects of this bad bacteria.

A particular type of white blood cell, referred to as a phagocyte, is responsible for consuming the pathogens found in the body. They can also consume and digest pathogens that have been destroyed by other white blood cells.

Lymphocytes release antibodies that help to either destroy pathogens or make it easier for the phagocyte to do its job in digesting the pathogen.


The name "white blood cell" derives from the physical appearance of a blood sample after centrifugation. White cells are found in the buffy coat, a thin, typically white layer of nucleated cells between the sedimented red blood cells and the blood plasma. The scientific term leukocyte directly reflects its description. It is derived from the Greek roots leuk- meaning "white" and cyt- meaning "cell". The buffy coat may sometimes be green if there are large amounts of neutrophils in the sample, due to the heme-containing enzyme myeloperoxidase that they produce.


All white blood cells are nucleated, which distinguishes them from the anucleated red blood cells and platelets. Types of leukocytes can be classified in standard ways. Two pairs of broadest categories classify them either by structure (granulocytes or agranulocytes) or by cell lineage (myeloid cells or lymphoid cells). These broadest categories can be further divided into the five main types: neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes. [2] These types are distinguished by their physical and functional characteristics. Monocytes and neutrophils are phagocytic. Further subtypes can be classified.

Granulocytes are distinguished from agranulocytes by their nucleus shape (lobed versus round, that is, polymorphonuclear versus mononuclear) and by their cytoplasm granules (present or absent, or more precisely, visible on light microscopy or not thus visible). The other dichotomy is by lineage: Myeloid cells (neutrophils, monocytes, eosinophils and basophils) are distinguished from lymphoid cells (lymphocytes) by hematopoietic lineage (cellular differentiation lineage). [6] Lymphocytes can be further classified as T cells, B cells, and natural killer cells.

    : releases antibodies and assists activation of T cells :
      + Th (T helper) cells: activate and regulate T and B cells + cytotoxic T cells: virus-infected and tumor cells. : bridge between innate and adaptive immune responses phagocytosis : Returns the functioning of the immune system to normal operation after infection prevents autoimmunity


    Neutrophils are the most abundant white blood cell, constituting 60-70% of the circulating leukocytes, [4] and including two functionally unequal subpopulations: neutrophil-killers and neutrophil-cagers. They defend against bacterial or fungal infection. They are usually first responders to microbial infection their activity and death in large numbers form pus. They are commonly referred to as polymorphonuclear (PMN) leukocytes, although, in the technical sense, PMN refers to all granulocytes. They have a multi-lobed nucleus, which consists of three to five lobes connected by slender strands. [9] This gives the neutrophils the appearance of having multiple nuclei, hence the name polymorphonuclear leukocyte. The cytoplasm may look transparent because of fine granules that are pale lilac when stained. Neutrophils are active in phagocytosing bacteria and are present in large amount in the pus of wounds. These cells are not able to renew their lysosomes (used in digesting microbes) and die after having phagocytosed a few pathogens. [10] Neutrophils are the most common cell type seen in the early stages of acute inflammation. The average lifespan of inactivated human neutrophils in the circulation has been reported by different approaches to be between 5 and 135 hours. [11] [12]


    Eosinophils compose about 2-4% of the WBC total. This count fluctuates throughout the day, seasonally, and during menstruation. It rises in response to allergies, parasitic infections, collagen diseases, and disease of the spleen and central nervous system. They are rare in the blood, but numerous in the mucous membranes of the respiratory, digestive, and lower urinary tracts. [9]

    They primarily deal with parasitic infections. Eosinophils are also the predominant inflammatory cells in allergic reactions. The most important causes of eosinophilia include allergies such as asthma, hay fever, and hives and also parasitic infections. They secrete chemicals that destroy these large parasites, such as hookworms and tapeworms, that are too big for any one WBC to phagocytize. In general, their nucleus is bi-lobed. The lobes are connected by a thin strand. [9] The cytoplasm is full of granules that assume a characteristic pink-orange color with eosin staining.


    Basophils are chiefly responsible for allergic and antigen response by releasing the chemical histamine causing the dilation of blood vessels. Because they are the rarest of the white blood cells (less than 0.5% of the total count) and share physicochemical properties with other blood cells, they are difficult to study. [13] They can be recognized by several coarse, dark violet granules, giving them a blue hue. The nucleus is bi- or tri-lobed, but it is hard to see because of the number of coarse granules that hide it.

    They excrete two chemicals that aid in the body's defenses: histamine and heparin. Histamine is responsible for widening blood vessels and increasing the flow of blood to injured tissue. It also makes blood vessels more permeable so neutrophils and clotting proteins can get into connective tissue more easily. Heparin is an anticoagulant that inhibits blood clotting and promotes the movement of white blood cells into an area. Basophils can also release chemical signals that attract eosinophils and neutrophils to an infection site. [9]


    Lymphocytes are much more common in the lymphatic system than in blood. Lymphocytes are distinguished by having a deeply staining nucleus that may be eccentric in location, and a relatively small amount of cytoplasm. Lymphocytes include:

      make antibodies that can bind to pathogens, block pathogen invasion, activate the complement system, and enhance pathogen destruction. :
        + helper T cells: T cells displaying co-receptorCD4 are known as CD4+ T cells. These cells have T-cell receptors and CD4 molecules that, in combination, bind antigenic peptides presented on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules on antigen-presenting cells. Helper T cells make cytokines and perform other functions that help coordinate the immune response. In HIV infection, these T cells are the main index to identify the individual's immune system integrity. + cytotoxic T cells: T cells displaying co-receptor CD8 are known as CD8+ T cells. These cells bind antigens presented on MHC I complex of virus-infected or tumour cells and kill them. Nearly all nucleated cells display MHC I. possess an alternative T cell receptor (different from the αβ TCR found on conventional CD4+ and CD8+ T cells). Found in tissue more commonly than in blood, γδ T cells share characteristics of helper T cells, cytotoxic T cells, and natural killer cells.


      Monocytes, the largest type of WBCs, share the "vacuum cleaner" (phagocytosis) function of neutrophils, but are much longer lived as they have an extra role: they present pieces of pathogens to T cells so that the pathogens may be recognized again and killed. This causes an antibody response to be mounted. Monocytes eventually leave the bloodstream and become tissue macrophages, which remove dead cell debris as well as attack microorganisms. Neither dead cell debris nor attacking microorganisms can be dealt with effectively by the neutrophils. Unlike neutrophils, monocytes are able to replace their lysosomal contents and are thought to have a much longer active life. They have the kidney-shaped nucleus and are typically agranulated. They also possess abundant cytoplasm.

      Some leucocytes migrate into the tissues of the body to take up a permanent residence at that location rather than remaining in the blood. Often these cells have specific names depending upon which tissue they settle in, such as fixed macrophages in the liver, which become known as Kupffer cells. These cells still serve a role in the immune system.

      The two commonly used categories of white blood cell disorders divide them quantitatively into those causing excessive numbers (proliferative disorders) and those causing insufficient numbers (leukopenias). [14] Leukocytosis is usually healthy (e.g., fighting an infection), but it also may be dysfunctionally proliferative. WBC proliferative disorders can be classed as myeloproliferative and lymphoproliferative. Some are autoimmune, but many are neoplastic.

      Another way to categorize disorders of white blood cells is qualitatively. There are various disorders in which the number of white blood cells is normal but the cells do not function normally. [15]

      Neoplasia of WBCs can be benign but is often malignant. Of the various tumors of the blood and lymph, cancers of WBCs can be broadly classified as leukemias and lymphomas, although those categories overlap and are often grouped as a pair.


      A range of disorders can cause decreases in white blood cells. This type of white blood cell decreased is usually the neutrophil. In this case the decrease may be called neutropenia or granulocytopenia. Less commonly, a decrease in lymphocytes (called lymphocytopenia or lymphopenia) may be seen. [14]


      Neutropenia can be acquired or intrinsic. [16] A decrease in levels of neutrophils on lab tests is due to either decreased production of neutrophils or increased removal from the blood. [14] The following list of causes is not complete.

      • Medications - chemotherapy, sulfas or other antibiotics, phenothiazenes, benzodiazepines, antithyroids, anticonvulsants, quinine, quinidine, indomethacin, procainamide, thiazides
      • Radiation
      • Toxins - alcohol, benzenes
      • Intrinsic disorders - Fanconi's, Kostmann's, cyclic neutropenia, Chédiak–Higashi
      • Immune dysfunction - disorders of collagen, AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis
      • Blood cell dysfunction - megaloblastic anemia, myelodysplasia, marrow failure, marrow replacement, acute leukemia
      • Any major infection
      • Miscellaneous - starvation, hypersplenism

      Symptoms of neutropenia are associated with the underlying cause of the decrease in neutrophils. For example, the most common cause of acquired neutropenia is drug-induced, so an individual may have symptoms of medication overdose or toxicity. Treatment is also aimed at the underlying cause of the neutropenia. [17] One severe consequence of neutropenia is that it can increase the risk of infection. [15]


      Defined as total lymphocyte count below 1.0x10 9 /L, the cells most commonly affected are CD4+ T cells. Like neutropenia, lymphocytopenia may be acquired or intrinsic and there are many causes. [15] This is not a complete list.

      • Inherited immune deficiency - severe combined immunodeficiency, common variable immune deficiency, ataxia-telangiectasia, Wiskott–Aldrich syndrome, immunodeficiency with short-limbed dwarfism, immunodeficiency with thymoma, purine nucleoside phosphorylase deficiency, genetic polymorphism
      • Blood cell dysfunction - aplastic anemia
      • Infectious diseases - viral (AIDS, SARS, West Nile encephalitis, hepatitis, herpes, measles, others), bacterial (TB, typhoid, pneumonia, rickettsiosis, ehrlichiosis, sepsis), parasitic (acute phase of malaria)
      • Medications - chemotherapy (antilymphocyte globulin therapy, alemtuzumab, glucocorticoids)
      • Radiation
      • Major surgery
      • Miscellaneous - ECMO, kidney or bone marrow transplant, hemodialysis, kidney failure, severe burns, celiac disease, severe acute pancreatitis, sarcoidosis, protein-losing enteropathy, strenuous exercise, carcinoma
      • Immune dysfunction - arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren syndrome, myasthenia gravis, systemic vasculitis, Behcet-like syndrome, dermatomyositis, granulomatosis with polyangiitis
      • Nutritional/Dietary - alcohol use disorder, zinc deficiency

      Like neutropenia, symptoms and treatment of lymphocytopenia are directed at the underlying cause of the change in cell counts.

      Proliferative disorders

      An increase in the number of white blood cells in circulation is called leukocytosis. [14] This increase is most commonly caused by inflammation. [14] There are four major causes: increase of production in bone marrow, increased release from storage in bone marrow, decreased attachment to veins and arteries, decreased uptake by tissues. [14] Leukocytosis may affect one or more cell lines and can be neutrophilic, eosinophilic, basophilic, monocytosis, or lymphocytosis.


      Neutrophilia is an increase in the absolute neutrophil count in the peripheral circulation. Normal blood values vary by age. [15] Neutrophilia can be caused by a direct problem with blood cells (primary disease). It can also occur as a consequence of an underlying disease (secondary). Most cases of neutrophilia are secondary to inflammation. [17]

      • Conditions with normally functioning neutrophils – hereditary neutrophilia, chronic idiopathic neutrophilia (chronic myelogenous (CML)) and other myeloproliferative disorders[18]


      A normal eosinophil count is considered to be less than 0.65 × 10 9 /L. [15] Eosinophil counts are higher in newborns and vary with age, time (lower in the morning and higher at night), exercise, environment, and exposure to allergens. [15] Eosinophilia is never a normal lab finding. Efforts should always be made to discover the underlying cause, though the cause may not always be found. [15]

      The complete blood cell count is a blood panel that includes the overall WBC count and the white blood cell differential, a count of each type of white blood cell. Reference ranges for blood tests specify the typical counts in healthy people.

      TLC- (Total leucocyte count): Normal TLC in an adult person is 6000–8000 WBC/mm^3 of blood.

      DLC- (Differential leucocyte count): Number/ (%) of different types of leucocytes per cubic mm. of blood.

      Below are blood reference ranges for various types leucocytes/WBCs. [19]

      What Causes Low White Blood Cell Count?

      White blood cells are produced in the bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside some of your larger bones. A drop in the WBC count could be a result of the following:

      • Viral infections
      • Congenital disorders
      • Cancer
      • Autoimmune disorders
      • Severe infections that require a lot of white blood cells
      • Medications like antibiotics
      • Alcohol abuse

      A low WBC count that is ineffective in fighting infections results in a condition called leukopenia. What are its signs?

      Why White Blood Cells (WBCs) do not react to foreign bodies like sperm? - Biology

      White blood cells, also called leukocytes, are cells that exist in the blood, the lymphatic system, and tissues and are an important part of the body's defense system. They help protect against infections and also have a role in inflammation, and allergic reactions. The white blood cell (WBC) count totals the number of white blood cells in a sample of your blood. It is one test among several that is included in a complete blood count (CBC), which is often used in the general evaluation of your health.

      Blood is made up of three main types of cells suspended in fluid called plasma. In addition to WBCs, there are red blood cells and platelets. All of these cells are made in the bone marrow and are released into the blood to circulate.

      There are five types of WBCs, and each has a different function:

      • Three types of WBCs are referred to as "granulocytes" because of the granules present in their cytoplasm. These granules release chemicals and other substances as part of the immune response. Granulocytes include:
          (neu) normally make up the largest number of circulating WBCs. They move into an area of damaged or infected tissue, where they engulf and destroy bacteria or sometimes fungi. (eos) respond to infections caused by parasites, play a role in allergic reactions (hypersensitivities), and control the extent of immune responses and inflammation. (baso) usually make up the fewest number of circulating WBCs and are thought to be involved in allergic reactions.
        • B lymphocytes (B cells) produce antibodies as part of the body’s natural defense (immune) responses.
        • T lymphocytes (T cells) recognize foreign substances and process them for removal.
        • Natural killer cells (NK cells) directly attack and kill abnormal cells such as cancer cells or those infected with a virus.

        When there is an infection or an inflammatory process somewhere in the body, the bone marrow produces more WBCs, releasing them into the blood, and through a complex process, they move to the site of infection or inflammation. As the condition resolves, the production of WBCs by the bone marrow subsides and the number of WBCs drops to normal levels again.

        In addition to infections and inflammation, there are a number of conditions that can affect the production of WBCs by the bone marrow or the survival of WBCs in the blood, such as cancer or an immune disorder, resulting in either increased or decreased numbers of WBCs in the blood. The WBC count, along with the other components of the CBC, alerts a healthcare practitioner to possible health issues. Results are often interpreted in conjunction with additional tests, such as a WBC differential and a blood smear review. A differential may provide information on which type of WBC may be low or high, and a blood smear may show the presence of abnormal and/or immature WBCs.

        If results indicate a problem, a wide variety of other tests can be performed to help determine the cause. A healthcare practitioner will typically consider an individual's signs and symptoms, medical history, and results of a physical examination to decide what other tests may be necessary. For example, as needed, a bone marrow biopsy will be performed to evaluate the bone marrow status.

        You may be able to find your test results on your laboratory's website or patient portal. However, you are currently at Lab Tests Online. You may have been directed here by your lab's website in order to provide you with background information about the test(s) you had performed. You will need to return to your lab's website or portal, or contact your healthcare practitioner in order to obtain your test results.

        Lab Tests Online is an award-winning patient education website offering information on laboratory tests. The content on the site, which has been reviewed by laboratory scientists and other medical professionals, provides general explanations of what results might mean for each test listed on the site, such as what a high or low value might suggest to your healthcare practitioner about your health or medical condition.

        The reference ranges for your tests can be found on your laboratory report. They are typically found to the right of your results.

        If you do not have your lab report, consult your healthcare provider or the laboratory that performed the test(s) to obtain the reference range.

        Laboratory test results are not meaningful by themselves. Their meaning comes from comparison to reference ranges. Reference ranges are the values expected for a healthy person. They are sometimes called "normal" values. By comparing your test results with reference values, you and your healthcare provider can see if any of your test results fall outside the range of expected values. Values that are outside expected ranges can provide clues to help identify possible conditions or diseases.

        While accuracy of laboratory testing has significantly evolved over the past few decades, some lab-to-lab variability can occur due to differences in testing equipment, chemical reagents, and techniques. This is a reason why so few reference ranges are provided on this site. It is important to know that you must use the range supplied by the laboratory that performed your test to evaluate whether your results are "within normal limits."

        For more information, please read the article Reference Ranges and What They Mean.

        The reference ranges 1 provided here represent a theoretical guideline that should not be used to interpret your test results. Some variation is likely between these numbers and the reference range reported by the lab that ran your test. Please consult your healthcare provider.

        Age Conventional Units 2 SI Units 3
        0-18 years Not available due to wide variability. See child's lab report for reference range.
        Adult 4,500-11,000 white blood cells per microliter (mcL) 4.5-11.0 x 10 9 per liter (L)

        1 from Wintrobe's Clinical Hematology. 12th ed. Greer J, Foerster J, Rodgers G, Paraskevas F, Glader B, Arber D, Means R, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins: 2009.

        What Are Neutrophils?

        Neutrophils are the major type of phagocyte which are the key players in the immune response and is directly involved in the immune response against bacteria. They can directly affect a variety of inflammatory diseases like asthma, diabetes, arthritis, allergies, inflammation etc. Recent research has revealed that neutrophils may also play a role in atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. These are the most common type of phagocyte and usually tend to attack healthy bacteria rather than invading it as with T-cells.