List of abbreviations
of micros-
specialist terms
explained in
English +

Every attempt was made to provide correct information and labelling, however any liability for eventual errors or incompleteness is rejected!

dieser Seite

Dr. med.
H. Jastrow

of use
Overview neutrophil granulocytes (Granulocyti neutrophili):
Pages with explanations are linked to the text below the images if available! (Labelling is in German)
human segmented
neutrophil granulocyte
detail 1:
centarl cytoplasm
detail 2:
cytoplasm with vesicles
detail 3:
different vesicles
detail 4:
other vesicles
detail 5:
some more vesicles
Detail 6: nuclear pore +
specific vesicle
human segmented
neutrophil granulocyte 2
detail 1:
detail 2:
Golgi apparatus
detail 3: 
different vesicles
detail 4: specific and
non- specific vesicles
detail 5:
further vesicles
detail 6: pore of the
nuclear membrane
human segmented
neutrophil granulocyte 3
detail 1:
cytoplasm + organells
detail 2: cytoplasm, vesicles,
multivesicular body
neutrophil in connective
tissue human umbilical cord
detail: cytoplasm with
2 human neutrophils
in blood
detail 1: segmented
neutrophil granulocyte
detail 2: staff cell (band form of
nucleus in neutrophil granulocyte)
detail 3: staff cell
neutrophil at phagocytosis
human placenta
detail: cytoplasm
human segmented
neutrophil granulocyte 4
detail: cytolasm
+ organelles
neutrophil 5 (human)
human segmented
neutrophil 6
human segmented
neutrophilic granulocyte 7
human segmented neutrophil
8 (formalin fixation)
human segmented
neutrophil granulocyte 9
segmented neutrophil
granulocyte (monkey)
segmented neutrophil, plas-
ma cell, lymphocyte (monkey)
segmented neutrophil
granulocyte (monkey)
neutrophil close to
a venole (monkey)
segmented neutrophil
vagina (pig)

Neutrophilic granulocytes (neutrophils, segmented neutrophilic granulocytes; Terminologia histologica: Granulocyti neutrophili, Neutrophili, Granulocyti neutrophili segmentonucleares) belong to the white blood cells (leucocytes; Terminologia histologica: Leucocyti) of which they comprise the majority, i.e. 50 to 75 % in differential blood count. Neutrophils are microphages and thus are capable to incorporate foreign materials via phagocytosis.
Neutrophils are about spherical when circulating in blood, in the connective tissue, however, they appear somewhat longer and ovoid. When cut at maximal diameter they have a width of 9 to 12 maximal 15 µm. Under stimulation plenty of elongated pseudopods form from the cell membrane extending some hundred nanometres. The nuclei of neutrophils are rich in heterochromatin resulting in an intense basophily making it hard to distinguish nucleoli in light microscopy. Due to the considerable variations of nuclear morphology the term polymorph nucleus has been established for neutrophils. Like the other blood cells neutrophils derive from stem cells and progenitor cells of the bone marrow from where they migrate into the blood. After this release the still young neutrophils show bend rod-like nuclei thus the juvenile neutrophils  (neutrophilic metamyelocytes; Terminologia histologica: Metamyelocyti neutrophili, Granulocyti neutrophili juveniles) are also called
staff cells, Schilling's band cells or band form granulocytes (Pappenheim stained histological image). They usually comprise about 5 to 10% of all neutrophils. After some hours the nuclei begin segmentation, i.e. show larger and smaller lumpy parts interconnected by very thin bridges. Thus the cells are mature transform into
segmented neutrophilic granulocytes (Pappenheim stained histological image). This mature form of granulocytes constitutes about 45-74% of all leucocytes in differential blood count of adult humans. In case of purulent infections this value increases to often above 80% of all leucocytes. If the relation of staff cells to segmented neutrophilic granulocytes changes this is called leftward shift in case of  >10% staff cells (typical for acute infections). In case of < 5% of staff cells we talk about a rightward shift (typical for e.g., vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia).
segmented neutrophilic granulocytes are cells of diameters of 10 - 15 µm with 3 - 4 nuclear segments interconnected via ~100 nm thin nuclear bridges. In case of too low blood serum levels of vitamin B12 of folic acid a so called hypersegmentation of the nuclei gets evident, i.e. nuclei show 5 or more segments.
Neutrophils may also be used for sex determination: If over 6 of 500 neutrophils (>3%) show a sex chromatin (Terminologia histologica: Chromatinum sexuale) it is sure that a female was the blood donor. This appendage of the nucleus, commonly called drumstick, has a diameter of about 1 - 1,5 µm and comprises an inactivated X-Chromosome corresponding to Barr's body of other cells. In the electron microscope the drumstick reveals as a segmented very electron-dense part of the heterochromatin.
Besides many other proteins, the cell membrane of neutrophils expresses the cell surface proteins CD32 (40 KD; an Fc receptor of low affinity for aggregated immunoglobulins) and CD 68 (110 KD; a mucin-like protein also known as macrosialin).

An English page with much more detailed information and images is only available in the professional version of this atlas

--> Blood cells Overview, eosinophilic granulocytes, basophilic granulocytes
--> Electron microscopic atlas Overview
--> Homepage of the workshop

Some images were kindly provided by Prof. H. Wartenberg; other images, page & copyright H. Jastrow.