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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 4 - Blood

Plate 4.54: Monocytes

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed


Plate 4.54: Monocytes

Human, air-dried blood smear, Wright's stain, 4416 x.


Monocytes are the largest cells found in normal blood. The nucleus is centrally or peripherally located, indented, and ovoid or horseshoe-shaped; the nuclear chromatin is not as dense as that of lymphocytes. Cytoplasm is abundant and contains azurophilic granules, which are usually smaller than those seen in lymphocytes. Monocytes are voracious phagocytes. The monocyte seen on the extreme right shows pseudopodia extending from the cell body and contains a phagocytized red cell nucleus

Note the comparative size of erythrocytes and monocytes.

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