Lymphocytes are a group of specialized immune cells. They are responsible for protecting our body from infections and for helping us heal after an injury. They are a type of white blood cell (WBC). Lymphocytes are usually round in shape and they are smaller than other cells in the body.
There are different types of lymphocytes including T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, plasma cells, and natural killer cells. Each cell type has a different function in the body.
Inflammation is a normal process that serves to help the body heal after an infection or injury. Lymphocytes help in this process by removing micro-organisms (such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites) and by producing chemicals that promote healing. For this reason, pathologists often describe lymphocytes as inflammatory cells and the process as chronic inflammation.
Although lymphocytes are designed to protect our body and help us heal, some medical conditions are caused by lymphocytes damaging our tissue. These types of medical conditions include inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Examples of medical conditions caused by lymphocytes: