Difference Between Neutrophils Eosinophils and Basophils

Main Difference – Neutrophils vs  Eosinophils vs Basophils

Neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils are granulocytes found in blood. All granulocytes are white blood cells, involved in the defense of the animals by destroying pathogens which invade the body cells. Granulocytes are formed from the stem cells in bone marrow by hematopoiesis. The main difference between neutrophils eosinophils and basophils is that their functions; neutrophils engulf bacteria found in the extracellular matrix through phagocytosis; eosinophils are involved in the triggering of inflammatory responses in allergic disorders and the anticoagulant, heparin is contained in basophils, preventing the quick blood clotting.

This article looks at,

1. What are Neutrophils
      – Characteristics, Structure, Function
2. What are Eosinophils
      – Characteristics, Structure, Function
3. What are Basophils
      – Characteristics, Structure, Function
4. What is the difference between Neutrophils Eosinophils and Basophils

Difference Between Neutrophils Eosinophils and Basophils - Comparison Summary

What are Neutrophils

Neutrophils are one of the three types of granulocytes found in blood. They engulf bacteria found in the extracellular matrix through phagocytosis. During phagocytosis, a vesicle, phagosome is formed from the plasma membrane, surrounding the bacterium in the extracellular matrix. The vesicle is pinched off into the cytoplasm and trafficked into a lysosome. Phagolysosome is formed by the fusion of lysosome with phagosome. The digestion of engulfed bacterium occurs inside the phagolysosome. The waste which is produced by digestion is eliminated by exocytosis. Neutrophils are one of the first cells migrating into the site of inflammation, following the cytokine signals like IL-8. This process of migration is called chemotaxis. Neutropenia is low counts of neutrophils. Neutrophilia is the increased count of neutrophils, usually above 7,500 neutrophils/mL.

Difference Between Neutrophils Eosinophils and Basophils - 1

Figure 1: Chemotaxis

What are Eosinophils

Eosinophils are the second type of granulocytes found in blood. They are involved in the triggering of inflammatory responses in allergic disorders. They also combat multicellular parasites like helminth. Responding to chemokine and cytokine signals, eosinophils migrate into inflammatory tissues. Along with basophils and mast cells, eosinophils mediate allergic responses and asthma pathogenesis. Eosinophils present antigens of the destroyed cells to T helper cells. By the activation of eosinophils, cytokines like TNF alpha and interleukins, growth factors like TGF beta and VEGF and some other species are produced. Eosinophils are found in thymus, spleen, ovary, uterus, lymph nodes and lower gastrointestinal tract. Eosinophilia is the presence of more than 500 eosinophils/mL blood, occurring in parasitic infections and some other disease conditions.

Main Difference - Neutrophils Eosinophils vs Basophils

Figure 2: An Eosinophil

What are Basophils

Basophils are the third group of granulocyte in blood. They contain the anticoagulant, heparin, which prevents quick blood clotting. The enzymes in their granules are released during asthma. Basophils are the least common in blood compared to other granulocytes. They are also the largest granulocytes. Basophils are capable of serving as phagocytes as well. They also produce serotonin and histamine, inducing inflammation. Basophils play a role in defending against viral infections. The action of basophils is inhibited by CD200 analogous, which are produced by viruses like Herpesvirus. Leukotrienes and some interleukins are secreted by activated basophils. Basophilia is the disease type associated with basophils, which is rarely found with leukemia.

Difference Between Neutrophils Eosinophils and Basophils

Figure 3: Neutrophil, Eosinophil and Basophil

Difference Between Neutrophils Eosinophils and Basophils

Nucleus

Neutrophils: Neutrophils consist of a multi-lobed nucleus. The number of lobes can be 2-5.

Eosinophils: The nucleus is two-lobed in eosinophils.

Basophils: The nucleus is bean-shaped in basophils.

Function

Neutrophils:  Neutrophils engulf bacteria found in the extracellular matrix through phagocytosis.

Eosinophils: Eosinophils are involved in the triggering of inflammatory responses in allergic disorders.

Basophils: The anticoagulant, heparin is contained in basophils, preventing the quick blood clotting.

Staining Color

Neutrophils: Neutrophils are stained in natural pink color.

Eosinophils: Eosinophils are stained in brick-red in acidic stains.

Basophils: Basophils are stained in dark blue in basic stains.

Diameter

Neutrophils: The diameter of neutrophils is 8.85 µm.

Eosinophils: The diameter of eosinophils is 12-17 µm.

Basophils: The diameter of basophils is 10-14 µm.

Abundance

Neutrophils: 40-75% of white blood cells are neutrophils.

Eosinophils: 1-6%  of white blood cells are eosinophils.

Basophils: 0.5-1%  of white blood cells are basophils.

Normal Range

Neutrophils:  Normal range for neutrophils is 1,500-8,000 neutrophils mm-3

Eosinophils: Normal range for eosinophils is 0-450 eosinophils mm-3.

Basophils:  Normal range for basophils is 0-300 basophils mm-3

Lifespan

Neutrophils: The lifespan of neutrophils is 5-90 hours.

Eosinophils: The lifespan of eosinophils is 8-12 hours in circulation. In tissues, it is 8-12 days.

Basophils: The lifespan of basophils is 60-70 hours.

Granules

Neutrophils: Granules contain lysozyme, phopholipase A2, acid hydrolases, myeloperoxidase, elastase, serine proteases, cathepsin G, proteinase 3, proteoglycans, defensins and bacterial permeability increasing protein.

Eosinophils: Granules contain histamines, Rnase, Dnase, eosinophil peroxidase, palsminogen, lipase and major basic proteins.

Basophils: Granules contain histamine, proteolytic enzymes like elastase and lysophospholipase and proteoglycans like heparin and chondroitin.

Secretions

Neutrophils: Activated neutrophils produce neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs).

Eosinophils: By the activation of eosinophils, cytokines like TNF alpha and interleukins, growth factors like TGF beta and VEGF and some other species are secreted.

Basophils: Leukotrienes and some interleukins are secreted by activated basophils.

Diseases

Neutrophils: Neutropenia is low counts of neutrophils and  neutrophilia is the increased count of neutrophils.

Eosinophils: Eosinophilia is the presence of more than 500 eosinophils/mL blood.

Basophils: Basophilia is a disease associated with basophils.

Conclusion

Neutrophils, eosinophils and basophils are myeloid cells, which are formed during hematopoiesis. All of them are granulocytes and found circulating through blood as well as migrating to inflammatory tissues. The main difference between neutrophils eosinophils and basophils their structure and role in the body of vertebrates. Granulocytes and lymphocytes collectively form the group of cells called white blood cells. Neutrophils are professional phagocytes involved in the engulfing pathogens like bacteria and destroying them by intercellular digestion. The recruitment of neutrophils to the site of inflammation is called chemotaxis, which is governed by cytokines. Eosinophils combat most of the parasites. They provide defense against hypersensitivity reactions through cytotoxicity, which is mediated by the content of granules. Basophils, along with eosinophils and mast cells, provide defend against allergic reactions. They also contain histamine and heparin, involved in the reducing blood clotting.

Reference:
1.Goldman, Armond S. “Immunology Overview.” Medical Microbiology. 4th edition. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 01 Jan. 1996. Web. 05 Apr. 2017.

Image Courtesy:
1.”NeutrophilerAktion” By Uwe Thormann (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:Uwe_Thormann) – own work, (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2.”Blausen 0352 Eosinophil (crop)” By Blausen.com staff (2014). “Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014″. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436. (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
3.”1907 Granular Leukocytes” By OpenStax College – Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site. Jun 19, 2013. (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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