Neutrophils are the most abundant white blood cell, constituting 60-70% of the circulating leukocytes, and including two functionally unequal subpopulations: neutrophil-killers and neutrophil-cagers. They defend against bacterial or fungal infection. They are usually first responders to microbial infection; their activity and death in large numbers form pus. They are commonly referred to as polymorphonuclear (PMN) leukocytes, although, in the technical sense, PMN refers to all granulocytes. They have a multi-lobed nucleus, which consists of three to five lobes connected by slender strands. This gives the neutrophils the appearance of having multiple nuclei, hence the name polymorphonuclear leukocyte. The cytoplasm may look transparent because of fine granules that are pale lilac when stained. Neutrophils are active in phagocytosing bacteria and are present in large amount in the pus of wounds. These cells are not able to renew their lysosomes (used in digesting microbes) and die after having phagocytosed a few pathogens. Neutrophils are the most common cell type seen in the early stages of acute inflammation. The life span of a circulating human neutrophil is about 5. 4 days.
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