A of the mononuclear leukocyte subgroup (like
/ ). Lymphocytes identify foreign
substances and germs (bacteria or viruses) in the body and produce
and cells that specifically target them. It takes from several days to weeks for lymphocytes to recognize
and attack a new foreign substance.
The main lymphocyte sub-types are :
- . Special B cells produce specific antibodies,
proteins that help destroy foreign substances.
- . T-cells attack virus-infected cells, foreign tissue, and
cancer cells. They also produce a number of substances that regulate the immune response.
- . Among other
functions, natural killer cells destroy cancer cells and virus-infected cells through phagocytosis and by producing
substances that can kill such cells.
- . An early population of lymphocytes bearing neither T-cell
nor B-cell differentiation antigens.
Lymphocytes are small cells with virtually no cytoplasm, found in the blood, in all tissue and in lymphoid organs, such as