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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Normal Peripheral Blood Cells. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Glossary of Terms A through M.

Antibody - A modified type of serum globulin synthesized by plasma cells (activated B lymphocytes) in response to antigenic stimulus. By virtue of specific combining sites each antibody reacts with only one antigen.

Anucleate - Having no nucleus.

Azurophilic granules - Reddish-purple granules (lysosomes) that may be visible in lymphocytes, particularly large lymphocytes. These are also known as primary granules or nonspecific granules.

Basophilic granules - Specific granules present in the cytoplasm of basophils. These granules are large and stain purple-black due to their strong affinity for basic stain.

B-cell - Bone marrow derived lymphocytes which produce humoral antibodies.

Biconcave - Having two concave surfaces.

Cellular Immunity - The capacity of a small proportion of lymphoid population to exhibit response to a specific antigen.

Chromomere - The centrally located granular portion of the platelet.

Clone - A population of cells descended from a single cell.

Delayed Hypersensitivity - (part of cellular immunity) that develops slowly over a period of 24-72 hours after an antigenic stimulus. It consists of an accumulation of cells around small vessels and/or nerves. Example: Tuberculin skin test reaction.

Digestive Enzyme - A substance that catalyzes or accelerates the process of digestion.

Eosinophilic Granules - Specific granules present in the cytoplasm of eosinophils. These granules are large, refractile spheres which stain reddish-orange due to their strong affinity for acid stain.

Erythrocyte (red blood cell, RBC) - One of the elements found in peripheral blood. Normally the mature form is a non-nucleated, circular, biconcave disk adapted to transport respiratory gases.

Fixed Macrophage - A phagocyte that is non-motile.

Free Macrophage - An ameboid phagocyte present at the site of inflammation.

Graft Rejection - Cellular or humoral (antibody) response to a transplanted tissue resulting in inflammation and eventual death of the tissue.

Graft-vs.-Host Reaction - A complication that occurs when immune tissue is transplanted into a host resulting in the transplanted tissue mounting an immune response against the host’s tissues.

Granulocyte - A leukocyte which contains granules in its cytoplasm, i.e., neutrophilic, eosinophilic, or basophilic granules.

Half-life - is the length of time it takes for half of the cells circulating at a given time to leave the blood for the tissues.

Hemocyte - Any blood cell or formed element of the blood.

Hemostasis - A mechanism of the vascular system to arrest an escape of blood. It involves an interaction between blood vessels, platelets, and coagulation.

Heparin - A mucopolysaccharide acid which, when present in sufficient amounts, functions as an anticoagulant by inhibiting thrombin.

Histamine - A powerful dilator of capillaries and a stimulator of gastric secretions.

Humoral Immunity - Acquired immunity produced after response to an antigenic stimulus in which B cells produce circulating antibodies.

Hyalomere - the clear, blue non-granular zone surrounding the chromomere of a platelet.

Immune Response - The interaction of a cell and an antigen that results in a proliferation of the cell and a capacity to produce antibodies or cellular induced death of the antigen.

Isotonic Fluid - A fluid whose elements have an equal osmotic pressure.

Leukocyte (white blood cell, WBC) - One of the formed elements of the blood; involved primarily with the body's defense.

Lysosome - A membrane-bound organelle in the cytoplasm of a cell that is capable of degrading or breaking down foreign substances.

Megakaryocyte - A giant cell of the bone marrow from which platelets are derived.

Mononuclear - A cell having a single nucleus.