Plasma cells are relatively large, ovoid antibody-producing cells. These cells are derived from activated B lymphocytes. Plasma cells are prevalent in loose connective tissue, particularly in areas where antigens enter the body, such as the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. They are also a natural component of salivary glands, lymph nodes, and hematopoietic tissue.
Plasma cells have specific characteristics that make them identifiable:
- They are basophilic due to the extensive rough endoplasmic reticulum in their cytoplasm.
- The golgi apparatus is visibly prominent, appearing as a clear acidophilic area in contrast to the basophilic cytoplasm under a light microscope.
- The nucleus of the plasma cell is spherical and usually eccentrically positioned. It contains large clumps of peripheral heterochromatin interspersed with clear areas of euchromatin, giving it a characteristic cartwheel or an analog clock face appearance.
The extensive endoplasmic reticulum and well-developed Golgi apparatus of plasma cells enable them to carry out their primary function of synthesis, modification, and secretion of antibodies.
English: plasma cell
||Loose connective tissue in areas prone to antigen entry|
|Function:||Protection via production of antibodies|
Learn more about the plasma cells and the other cellular components of the loose connective tissue in this study unit:
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