Difference Between Lymphocyte and Lymphoblast

Lymphocyte vs Lymphoblast

Lymphocyte and lymphoblast are white blood cells and can be visible in the peripheral blood system. These cells are extremely important to maintain certain immune activities in the body. Lymphocyte is produced in primary and secondary lymphoid organs. During the maturation of lymphocyte, it undergoes three-cell stages; lymphoblast, prolymphocyte and mature lymphocyte. Several morphological differences exist among these cell stages.

What is Lymphocyte?

Lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell found in human blood and produced in mainly in primary and secondary lymphoid organs. The primary organs include thymus and bone marrow, whereas the secondary lymphoid organs include spleen, Payer’s patches found in the gastrointestinal tract, tonsils and adenoids, and lymph nodes and nodules found all over the body. Maturation of a lymphocyte has three cells stages namely; lymphoblast, prolymphocyte and mature lymphocyte. A mature lymphocyte has two types; small and large lymphocytes. The size of the small lymphocyte is about 6 to 9 µm and the large cell is about 17 to 20 µm. Cells contain round-to-oval shaped nucleus with or without indentation. There are no visible nucleoli found in the nucleus. Maturation occurs in two places (a) in thymus, where T lymphocytes are produced, and (b) in lymph nodes, where B lymphocytes are produced. The amounts of lymphocytes in the peripheral blood vary based on the age of individuals. Usually children under age four have much higher amount of lymphocyte than adults. Lymphocyte is important to maintain the cell mediated immunity and humoral immunity in the body.

What is Lymphoblast?

Lymphoblast is the first cell stage of the development of mature lymphocyte. This cell is small-to-medium sized with approximately 10-18 µm in diameter. The nucleus of lymphoblast is round-to-oval shaped and it contains loosely packed chromatin and 1-2 nucleoli. The nucleus of the lymphoblast is fairly large and occupies about 80% of the cell total cell volume. The cytoplasm of lymphoblast is agranular and contains basophilia. When lymphoblast is transformed to the next cell stage; prolymphocyte, the chromatin inside the nucleus gets slightly condensed while decreasing of nucleoli prominence.

What is the difference between Lymphocyte and Lymphoblast?

• Lymphoblast is the first cell that can be identified during the development of a maturation of lymphocyte.

• During the maturation process, lymphoblast is transformed into prolymphocyte. Once the prolymphocyte is formed, it is finally matured into lymphocyte.

• Size of a lymphoblast is around 10-18 µm whereas that of a mature lymphocyte is around 17-20 µm.

• Nuclear-cytoplasmic ratio of lymphoblast is 4:1, whereas that of lymphocyte is 2:1.

• Mature lymphocytes do not contain nucleoli while lymphoblast contain 1-2 nucleoli.

• Chromatin in lymphocytes are dense and clumped, unlike the chromatin in lymphoblast.

• No granules are present in the cytoplasm of the lymphoblast, while few azurophilic granules may be found in lymphocytes.

• When stained, lymphoblast cytoplasm turns medium blue color with darker-blue border, whereas lymphocyte cytoplasm turns to light blue.


Further Reading:

  1. Difference Between Leukocytes and Lymphocytes
  2. Difference Between Lymphocytes and Macrophages
  3. Difference Between Lymphocytes and Leucocytes