USMLE

Neutrophils

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Immunology
  1. Innate Immunity
  2. Adaptive Immunity
  3. Macrophages
  4. Neutrophils
  5. Dendritic Cells
  6. Mast Cells
  7. Eosinophils
  8. Basophils
  9. Natural Killer Cells
  10. Antigens
  11. MHC I and II
  12. Antibodies
  13. B Lymphocytes Overview
  14. B Cell Stages
  15. B-Cell Activation
  16. Plasma B-Cells
  17. Memory B-Cells
  18. T-Lymphocytes Overview
  19. T-Cell Stages
  20. Types of Activated T-Cells

Summary

Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell in the innate immune system that mainly functions by phagocytosis, which is a fancy way of saying that they eat and digest foreign pathogens. Neutrophils also function as granulocytes, meaning they can release the contents of their granules. These contents may either work to kill the pathogen, or signal other immune cells to arrive in order to help fight the infection.

Key Points

  • Neutrophils
    • Innate immune cell
      • Typically arrive right after macrophages at the site of infection because there are so many of them in circulation
    • Phagocyte
      • Neutrophils are one of the major phagocytic killers of the innate immune system
    • Granulocyte
      • Neutrophils contain and release granules with molecules toxic to foreign pathogens