Pathology dictionary -

Inflammatory cell

An inflammatory cell is an cell that is a part of the body’s natural defense response to injury or disease.  Inflammatory cells have many roles in the body - they may be responsible for destroying and eliminating a disease (such as virus), calling other inflammatory cells to respond to the disease, or helping the body remember the disease so it can respond quickly should it be faced by it in the future.


There are many different types of inflammatory cells that you may see described in your pathology report including:

  • Neutrophils.

  • Eosinophils.

  • Lymphocytes.

  • Plasma cells.

  • Histiocytes.


Each type of cell has a unique role in the body’s defense system although they all can also cause injury under certain circumstances.

Inflammation is what happens when lots of inflammatory cells enter a tissue. The first inflammatory cells to arrive are usually neutrophils and this stage is called acute inflammation. Lymphocytes and plasma cells usually arrive later and this stage is called chronic inflammation.


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