Difference Between Granulocytes And Agranulocytes

White blood cells, also referred to as leukocytes, provide a front­line defence against different diseases. Blood consists of two types of white blood cells (WBC), viz, granulocytes and agranulocytes.

  • Basophils, neutrophils, and eosinophils are granulocytes.
  • Lymphocytes and Monocytes, on the other hand, are agranulocytes. Monocytes are the phagocytes that engulf foreign pathogens and destroy them.

Let us have a detailed look at granulocytes, agranulocytes, and the difference between granulocytes and agranulocytes.


Granulocytes are the type of white blood cells that are present in the cytoplasm in the form of granules. They have four lobes and are also known as polymorphonuclear leukocytes.

Granulocytes are of three different types:

  • Neutrophils: They make up around 60% of the total granulocytes and is mostly found in the blood.
  • Eosinophils: These are kidney-shaped granulocytes involved in destroying different parasites in the body.
  • Basophils: These are present in the least amount and are found in the bone marrow or bloodstream. They protect the body from any infections.

Also Read: Blood


These are the type of white blood cells without the granules. They have only one lobe and are known as mononuclear leukocytes due to the presence of just one nucleus. They constitute about 35% of the total white blood cells present in the body.

Agranulocytes are of three different types:

  •  Lymphocytes: These are one of the most important types of white blood cells. They provide stability to the human body and prevent it from serious infections.
  • Monocytes: These are present in large numbers and possess an amoeboid shape.
  • Macrophages: These aid in the process of digestion of cellular debris and pathogens. They are uninuclear with lesser lobes.

Difference between Granulocytes and Agranulocytes

Following are the important difference between granulocytes and agranulocytes:

Granulocytes Agranulocytes
Contains granules Does not contain granules
Basophils, neutrophils, eosinophils Lymphocytes, macrophages, monocytes
% of leukocytes
65 35
Involved in
Innate immunity Adaptive immunity
Also known as
Polymorphonuclear leukocytes Mononuclear leukocytes
Originates from
Bone marrow Lymphoid
Lobes in Nucleus
2-5 1

Also Read: Difference between RBC and WBC

These were some of the important difference between granulocytes and agranulocytes. To learn more about granulocytes and agranulocytes, and other interesting biology topics, register to BYJU’S – the learning app.

Frequently Asked Questions


What do you mean by granulocytes?

Granulocytes are white blood cells that are present as granules in cytoplasm. Granulocytes are of three types:

  • Eosinophils
  • Neutrophils
  • Basophils

How are granulocytes important?

Granulocytes are WBCs that help the immune system to fight infections. The number of granulocytes increases in response to any infection and thus helps to detect a disease.


What does an immature granulocyte indicate?

Immature granulocytes in the blood indicate an early stage infection or disease.


How are agranulocytes different from granulocytes?

Agranulocytes are the white blood cells that have no granules in the cytoplasm. These are of three different types:

  • Monocytes
  • Lymphocytes
  • Macrophages

What is the function of lymphocytes?

Lymphocytes help to recognize antigens, produce antibodies, and destroy the cells that can cause damage to the body.


What role do macrophages play in immune defence?

Macrophages are the agranulocytes that locate and destroy the foreign bodies by engulfing them by the process of phagocytosis.


What is the difference between granulocytes and agranulocytes on the basis of their origin?

The granulocytes originate from the bone marrow whereas the agranulocytes originate from the lymphoid.


Which are the most abundant granulocytes?

Neutrophils are the most abundant granulocytes. They make up around 70% of the white blood cells.


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