What are lymphocytes?

Blood, which has vital importance such as feeding, oxygenating tissues and organs in the circulatory system, maintaining salt and water balance, and carrying hormones, helps to keep body temperature in balance. In addition to the cells that provide the transport of oxygen and coagulation, blood contains many different substances such as different types of fat, minerals, enzymes, proteins, sugar, molecule defense system substances and metabolic wastes. One of these is white blood cells. White blood cells (WBC, white blood cells, white blood cells, leukocytes) are the body’s first defense structure in the presence of disease. Before the symptomatic manifestations of the disease occur, white blood cells proliferate rapidly and form a kind of defense line against pathogens. There are also 5 different types of white blood cells. Lymphocytes (LYM) are one of them. It has different tasks depending on the region it reaches after it is produced. In this context, lymphocytes can also be defined as NK cell, B cell and T cell. Before discussing the low and high lymphocyte issues in the report prepared after routine blood tests, “What is lymphocyte?” Must answer the question.

Lymphocyte (LYM) produced by the bone marrow is one of 5 different types of white blood cells (WBC). The main function of lymphocytes produced by stem cells in the bone marrow is to eliminate pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites entering the body. Lymphocytes in the circulatory system produce antibodies to eliminate pathogens. Body cells infected by harmful organisms are also killed and neutralized by lymphocytes. In addition, lymphocytes send information to healthy cells against infected body cells. As a result of all these processes, the existing infection is eliminated. Frequently wondered “What does lymphocyte mean?” The question can be answered in this way. Lymphocytes, a type of white blood cells, also have 3 different subtypes: NK, T and B cells. These cell types also have different functions. In other words, B cells, a type of lymphocytes, stay in the region where they are produced. It has different types of antibodies and their numbers remain constant unless needed.
B cells, which make up approximately 10% of the total lymphocyte amount, are an important part of the body’s defense. It marks pathogens such as viruses, bacteria and toxins entering the body with chemicals. It also produces antibodies and proteins to attack pathogens. When B cells produced in the bone marrow go to the lymph node in the breast called the thymus and mature in this area, the cells are called T cells. T cells, another type of lymphocyte, are responsible for finding and destroying the infected cell. T cells communicating with B cells have approximately 80% of the total amount of lymphocytes. T lymphocyte cells reach areas such as tonsils, intestines, spleen, lymphoid, especially lymph nodes. The main task of T cells is to stimulate other immune system cells against foreign organisms in the body. For this, it secretes the chemical called lymphokine and allows immune system cells to attack pathogens. NK (natural killer, natural killer, natural killer cell) cells, the third and last type of lymphocytes, kill only the body cells affected by the virus and tumor without damaging the healthy cells. In other words, NK cells, instead of attacking foreign organisms directly, attack body cells infected by these organisms. NK cells also make up about 10% of the total lymphocyte amount.


T cells, or in other words, T lymphocytes, stimulate other immune cells through a series of chemical reactions. This cellular response, called cytokine, is released from T cells as well as different structures such as mononuclear cell types and stroma cells. In the presence of infections such as flu, cold and COVID-19 in the body, cytokines are secreted rapidly and immune system cells are stimulated. If there is too much cytokine production, which is an extremely rapid response, the situation known as cytokine storm occurs. In the presence of cytokine storm the immune system is overstimulated. This causes a person’s immune system to destroy their own healthy cells, causing a toxic effect. Cytokine storm can reach a size that endangers the life of the person.


What is the normal value of lymphocytes?

Lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, play a role in the body’s defense against diseases by fighting viruses, bacteria and other toxic substances. After most of the lymphocytes produced in the bone marrow are produced in the bone marrow, they settle in organs such as lymph nodes, tonsils and spleen. The level of lymphocytes seen as LYM in blood tests varies by age. In addition, the lymphocyte value varies in pregnant women. Lymphocyte normal value should be in the range of 1000-4800 mcL in adults and 3000-9500 mcL in children. However, measurement values may differ between laboratories.

What is low lymphocyte (Lymphopenia)?

Low lymphocytes, which is defined as lymphopenia in the medical language, can be defined as the lymphocyte value below 1000 mcL in adults and 3000 mcL in children in the blood test. Low LYM, which can be an indicator that the immune system is weakened, may also indicate that there is not enough lymphocyte production, lymphocytes are retained in the spleen or lymph glands due to a disease, or existing toxins destroy lymphocytes. Low lymphocytes usually does not cause symptoms. In other words, low lymphocytes are usually noticed in blood tests. However, in some cases, symptoms such as fatigue, weakness, chills, fever, runny nose, joint pain, cough, rash, night sweats and weight loss may occur due to low lymphocytes. However, it should be kept in mind that these symptoms can occur in many different situations. Diseases are the leading factors that cause low lymphocytes. In addition to infectious diseases such as flu, some types of cancer and diseases such as AIDS may cause the lymphocyte value to fall below the reference value. In addition, treatments such as malnutrition, stress, chemotherapy and cortisone can also cause low lymphocytes. Although low lymphocytes usually heals spontaneously with the treatment of the existing disease, it can be easily done with medication. In addition to these, lean fish meat, dairy products and fruits rich in vitamin C are also effective in eliminating low lymphocytes. However, in some cases of low or recurrent lymphocyte decrease, further examinations may be required. “What is low lymphocyte?” One of the frequently asked questions while explaining the question in this way is “What is the lymphocyte elevation?” in the form.

What is lymphocyte elevation (Lymphocytosis)?

Lymphocyte elevation, which is called lymphocytosis in medical language, can be defined as the lymphocyte value above 4800 mcL in adults and 9500 mcL in children in the blood test. Lymphocyte elevation is greatly increased during existing infections. Although the increase in lymphocyte count is accepted as normal for body defense, the constant high lymphocyte value may be caused by different diseases. An increase in LYM can be seen in the presence of diseases such as measles, mumps, jaundice, tuberculosis, brucellosis, vasculitis and AIDS. LYM elevation usually does not cause symptoms. Lymphocyte elevation is often noticed in the blood analysis. However, symptoms such as weakness, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and fever seen in many diseases can also be listed as symptoms of lymphocyte elevation. Treatment of lymphocyte elevation is generally done with treatment of focal disease. In other words, the lymphocyte level goes back to the normal range with the improvement of the condition in the person. However, additional tests may be required in the presence of high lymphocyte elevation during routine tests without any disease in the person. It is normal for babies and children to have a higher lymphocyte value compared to adults. This situation is mostly caused by the newly developing immune system of babies and children. In cases where the lymphocyte level is higher than 9500 mcL in children and 11000 mcL in babies, it can be said that lymphocytes are high. However, the temporary increase in lymphocyte count in infants and children is usually caused by a recent infection, as in adults. However, in cases where the lymphocyte height is continuous, the underlying cause should be investigated.

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