Lymphocytes – Large and Small
There are two types of lymphocytes small (10-12µm) and large (12-16µm).
Most of the lymphocytes in the peripheral blood are small. The nucleus of he lymphocytes is small, round, usually indented. The chromatin of the lymphocyte nucleus
- Deep purple, small, round, usually indented
- Has no nucleoli
- Has a densely clumped deep chromatin
The cytoplasm of the lymphocyte is
- Moderately basophilic (blue)
- Scanty forming a thin rim around the nucleus
- Devoid of granules
Large lymphocytes have a more abundant cytoplasm with a few azurophilic granules. Some of these are T supressor lymphocytes (Cd3+ Cd8+) while others are NK cells (Cd3 – CD8+). The picture above shows a large granular lymphocyte
Typically lymphocytes are small (10-12μm) cells with a scanty agranular cytoplasm with a round slightly indented nucleus. About 10% of lymphocytes are larger (12-16μ), have a nucleus which has a slight less compact chromatin and azurophilic granules in the cytoplasm. These are known as large granular lymphocytes. Some of these are T supressor lymphocytes (Cd3+ Cd8+) while others are NK cells (Cd3 – CD8+). The picture above shows a large granular lymphocyte.
The image above shows a lymphocyte (left) and a polymprphonuclear neutrophil (right) in the peripheral blood. The lymphocyte is a cell about 10μ in size with a dense purple nucleus and agranular, slightly basophilic (blue) cytoplasm. About 10% of the lymphocytes are larger and have more abundant cytoplasm which shows granules (large granular lymphocytes). This is a small lymphocyte. A polymorphonuelear neutrophil is 12-15μ a cell with a segmented nucleus (not visible in this picture because the nucleus is folded on itself) that has clumped chromatin and an eosinophilic (pink) cytoplasm and pink granules. The contrast between nuclear shape, chromatin, cytoplasmic staining and granulation of the two cells is evident.