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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Normal Peripheral Blood Cells (retired 6/20/2012). Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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When Lymphocytes Transform

  • Lymphocytes "transform" in response to antigenic stimuli.
  • Their nuclei becomes larger with more open chromatin and a greater degree of nuclear folding.
  • The cytoplasm becomes abundant, the number of azurophilic granules may be increased and vacuoles may be present.
  • The cytoplasmic membrane may be easily indented by surrounding red blood cells, resulting in a scalloped appearance of the cell's outer edge.
  • These lymphocytes may also be referred to as reactive, activated or stimulated.