Lymphocytes vs. Macrophages

Difference between Lymphocytes and Macrophages There are millions of cells which form the composition of the Human Body. The…

Difference between Lymphocytes and Macrophages

There are millions of cells which form the composition of the Human Body. The human body is under consistent assault from micro-organisms and other foreign material. The body has its own Immunity which is one of the forms of defense mechanisms that protect the body from such attacks and this mechanism fights against the dangerous infections and substances that are damaging to the body health.

There are some mechanisms that are meant to identify these assaulters and attack them. In these instances, the memory cell retain in memory the identification of these marauders and attack faster when the same invader comes up the next time. This type of immunity is known as specific immunity. The Lymphocytes are actually responsible for this type of specific immunity. The lymphocytes have the capability of recognizing the enemy and launch an attack with particular antibodies and killer cells.


There are however other defense mechanisms in the human body that are unable to recognize the marauders, but have the ability to eliminate all foreign substances without identifying or retaining the identity. This is known as non-specific or instinctive immunity.

Macrophages are one kind of cells in the immunity system displaying inherent immunity. Macrophages are present generally in the tissues and would surround the foreign substances and devour them or kill them. Lymphocytes are generally existent in the lymphatic tissues or in the bloodstream.

The MONOCYTE in fact resides in the bloodstream goes away from the circulation and remains in the tissue as Macrophage. The word Macro denotes BIG and Phage indicates eating. Macrophages being large in size eat away the viruses and bacteria. Macrophages are endowed with special names depending on where they stay, like in the liver, the name becomes Kupffer cells, in the bones, it is known as osteoclast, in the lungs, it is called alveolar macrophage and when in the brain are reckoned as glial cells.

In comparison with macrophage, the lymphocytes are smaller in size. Under normal conditions, they do not leave the circulation. The T lymphocytes can eliminate the infected cells such as cyto toxic, while the B lymphocytes create antibodies against infection.

In summation, both the macrophages and lymphocytes are defense cells that defend our body being produced in the bone marrow. The size of the lymphocytes is relatively small in comparison with the macrophages. Lymphocytes reside in the blood circulation while macrophages remain in the tissues. Lymphocytes provide specific immunity whereas macrophages offer non specific immunity. Macrophages destroy the foreign bodies by eating them while lymphocytes do not.


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