A neutrophil granulocyte, or neutrophil for short, is a type of white blood cell that is the most common white blood cell in the body. Neutrophil granulocytes are found in the bloodstream and tissues and play an important role in the immune system’s defence mechanism.
Neutrophils are responsible for defence against bacterial infections. Pathogens that invade the body release chemical signals that attract neutrophil granulocytes to the site of infection. Neutrophils actively move through the bloodstream to infected tissues where they take up and destroy pathogens by phagocytosis.
Neutrophil granulocytes are also important because they can produce and release inflammatory mediators, such as cytokines, which trigger an additional immune response and help to defend against infection. Neutrophils are also involved in wound healing and tissue regeneration processes.
Changes in the number and activity of neutrophil granulocytes can be an indicator of immune function. The number and activity of neutrophil granulocytes may increase in response to certain diseases, such as bacterial infections, inflammatory diseases and tissue damage. However, in certain conditions, such as leukaemia or severe infections, neutrophil granulocyte counts may be reduced.
Neutrophil granulocytes play an important role in immune function, especially in the defence against infections. Doctors often analyse neutrophil counts and activity as part of diagnosis and disease monitoring.
Below is a table of general neutrophil values:
|Term||Relative Neutrophil Percentage||Neutrophil Count|
|Normal Range||40-75%||2.5-7.5 x 10^9/L|
|Neutrophilia (High)||>75%||>7.5 x 10^9/L|
|Neutropenia (Low)||<40%||<2.5 x 10^9/L|
It is important to note that neutrophil values may vary slightly between laboratories, and normal ranges may vary depending on the reference values used by the laboratory. Neutrophil values should always be interpreted with the doctor, as disease, age and other factors may affect these values. Always consult your healthcare professional for diagnosis and treatment.
High neutrophil granulocyte count
When the neutrophil granulocyte count is high, it indicates a condition called neutrophilia. Neutrophilia can be temporary or chronic and can develop for a number of reasons.
The following are some of the possible causes of a high neutrophil granulocyte count:
- Bacterial infections: Bacterial infections often lead to neutrophilia, as neutrophil granulocytes are the primary line of defence against bacterial pathogens.
- Inflammatory diseases: Chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease, can also lead to neutrophilia.
- Stress and physical exertion: Intense physical activity, injury or surgery can lead to an increase in neutrophil granulocyte counts.
- Smoking: Smoking has also been associated with the development of neutrophilia.
- Cancer and cancer: Certain types of cancer, such as acute leukaemia or lung cancer, can lead to neutrophilia.
It is important to note that neutrophilia is not a specific diagnosis in itself and further investigation is needed to determine the determinants and treatment options. If neutrophilia persists or is associated with other symptoms, it is important to seek medical evaluation for accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Neutrophil granulocyte low
When the neutrophil granulocyte count is low, it indicates a condition called neutropenia. Neutropenia can be temporary or chronic and can develop for a variety of reasons.
Some possible causes of a low neutrophil granulocyte count are:
Medication side effects: certain drugs, such as chemotherapy drugs, immune system drugs or antibiotics, can affect the production or lifespan of neutrophil granulocytes and lead to neutropenia.
Viral infections: Certain viruses, such as HIV, hepatitis or rubella virus, can damage neutrophil granulocytes and cause neutropenia.
Genetic disorders: some rare genetic disorders, such as Kostmann syndrome or cyclocrine neutropenia, may result in low neutrophil granulocyte counts.
Abnormal bone marrow function: neutrophil granulocytes are produced in the bone marrow. If the bone marrow is not functioning properly, neutropenia may develop.
It is important to note that the severity of neutropenia and the possible risks depend on the exact level of neutrophil count and the proportion of other blood cells. In more severe neutropenia, the immunity to infection is reduced and the risk of infection is increased. A doctor treating a low neutrophil count should carry out further tests to determine what is causing the neutropenia and prescribe appropriate treatment if necessary.