|Description:||This photomicrograph is the first in a series of three images depicting the cellular content of a peritoneal exudate extracted from the abdominal cavity of a guinea pig. The prevalent cell type is represented by numerous white blood cells (WBCs) of the polymorphonuclear type (PMNs). Of the three images, this one was captured under the lowest, though unknown, magnification. See PHIL 15444, and 15445, for the other two images in this series, each viewed under successively-greater magnifications.|
White blood cells are not oxygen-carriers like red blood cells (RBCs), but act as members of the body’s defense mechanism, fighting the constant onslaught of pathogenic invaders such as bacteria, and foreign debris.
When compared to their cousins the erythrocytes, or RBCs, the leukocytes are larger in size, and much fewer in numbers, i.e., 8000/mm3. Leukocytes are categorized into two main groups, granular leukocytes, i.e., neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils, and the nongranular leukocytes, i.e., lymphocytes and monocytes.