Neutrophil are the most abundant type of white blood cells and are part of the granulocyte family or the polymorphonuclear cells family. They get the name ‘polymorphonuclear cells’ because of the varying shapes of the nucleus, which is usually lobed into three segments.
Neutrophils are the first cells to get to the site of infection, they are professional phagocytes and ferocious eaters that rapidly engulf invaders.
Here is a video you can watch of a neutrophil chasing a bacteria.
The lab of Dr. Paul Kubes from Calgary University does research on neutrophils. He and his team have published some pretty neat videos of neutrophils moving around tissue. The technique he uses to generate these videos is called intravital microscopy.
In the video below the neutrophils are seen in green migrating through blood vessels (blue) towards an area of tissue damage in the liver (red).
For those who want a more in-depth overview of neutrophils and the latest and most up to date findings here are some resources.
- Nature Reviews Immunology: Neutrophil migration in infection and wound repair: going forward in reverse
- Video Nature Protocols: Detailed surgical procedure to perform liver intravital microscopy
- How intra-vital microscopy has been applied to get insights into atherosclerosis and thrombosis: High-Resolution Molecular Imaging Via Intravital Microscopy: Illuminating Vascular Biology In Vivo