A Trio of Granulocytes

When I learn new things, I like to learn by doing. The very act of smearing blood on a slide, or sticking needles in people’s arms – practice makes perfect.

But learning facts and figures? Ummmmmm HELP!?!

I recently completed my training rotation in Chemistry, and have moved into H(a)ematology. It is a pretty steep learning curve, all of a sudden I needed to learn all the different blood cells and stages of maturation, and how to interpret red blood cell indices……… Eeeeek!

I am now into week 3, it is starting to make sense, but I decided a crafty interpretation was needed to help me remember……

These three stitchings were inspired by the process of granulopoiesis:

Granulocytopoiesis

(Diagram taken from my textbook, and scribbled upon by me)

Each of the patterns was inspired by the pictures of the fully mature form of the granulocytes: Basophils; Neutrophils; and Eosinophils.

I sketched out each of the cells, and then pixelated the drawings into a pattern.

Basophil

Basophil

The mature basophil features pale blue cytoplasm, deep blue-purple coarsely granular chromatin organised into two distinct nuclear lobes (Note: in the picture above it looks like three, as in the original picture, I suspect that the original cell that the book drawing was made from had a nucleus that was folded in a way to suggest three lobes, plus mostly obscured by granules), and lots of coarse violet-blue nonuniform granules.

As is suggested by their name, the cells are full of basophilic granules, meaning that the granules have an affinity for the basic dye component of the Wright’s stain. They are responsible for acute and delayed allergic reactions, their granules are full of histamine and heparin.

To attempt to mimic the variability in staining that occurs due to the cellular components, I chose some variegated threads for the cytoplasm, nucleus and granules, but I have included some suggestions in brackets if a plain colour is preferred:

Cytoplasm: DMC 4220 (DMC 159)

Nucleus: DMC 4245 (DMC 823)

Granules: DMC 4245 (DMC 939)

Stitched Basophil

Neutrophil

Neutrophil

The mature basophil features pink cytoplasm, purplish-red clumped granular chromatin organised into two to five distinct nuclear lobes, and lots of fine violet-pink granules.

These cells are full of secondary granules which stain various shades of pink, although an occasional dark primary granule may be seen, and also tertiary granules, which are not visible via light microscopy. Neutrophil granules are full of enzymes used for the killing and digestion of bacteria and fungi:

Primary – Lysozyme, Myeloperoxidase, Acid phosphatase, and Elastase

Secondary – Lysozyme, NADPH oxidase, Cytochrome b, and Lactoferrin

Tertiary – Plasminogen activator, Alkaline phosphatase, and Gelatinase

Neutrophils are responsible for the action of engulfing and destroying those pesky invading organisms.

Again, to attempt to mimic the variability in staining that occurs due to the cellular components, I chose some variegated threads for the cytoplasm, nucleus and granules, but I have included some suggestions in brackets if a plain colour is preferred:

Cytoplasm: DMC 4110 (DMC 963)

Nucleus: DMC 4245 (DMC 823)

Granules: DMC 4110 (DMC 210)

Stitched Neutrophil

Eosinophil

Eosinophil

The mature eosinophil features pink cytoplasm, deep blue-purple coarsely granular chromatin organised into two distinct nuclear lobes, and lots of red uniform (specific) granules.

As is suggested by their name, the cells are full of eosinophilic granules, meaning that the granules have an affinity for the eosin (acidic) dye component of the Wright’s stain. The granules contain various hydrolytic enzymes: peroxidase; acid phosphatase; aryl sulfatase; beta-glucuronidase, phospholipase; cathepsin, and ribonuclease. Eosinophils are mainly responsible for reacting to parasitic infections, but also have a role in allergic disorders in developed countries.

Once again, to attempt to mimic the variability in staining that occurs due to the cellular components, I chose some variegated threads for the nucleus and granules, but I have included some suggestions in brackets if a plain colour is preferred:

Cytoplasm: DMC 225

Nucleus: DMC 4212 (DMC 823)

Granules: DMC 4200 (DMC 900) Note: I really recommend the variegate thread for this one, as it gives a wonderful, and surprisingly accurate result!

Stitched Eosinophil

So there you have it!

A little trio of mature granulocytes:

Granulocytic Trio

I am pretty happy with the end result, I think they look cute. I had been discussing them with one of the scientists in the lab over the past week, and had them with me today.

I showed the supervisor. He was very amused.

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