Ackerman1 summarizes the morphologic characteristics of the lymphocyte and its progenitors as revealed by the phase microscope in both the normal and leukemic states. With the phase microscope it is possible to examine the lymphocytes in the blood and lymphatic tissues in the living condition unaltered by drying, fixation, or staining. The phase microscope has made possible the study not only of structures demonstrated in the past by the various Romanovski stains but also of such structures as cytoplasmic organelles and inclusions. The phase microscope enables one to observe cytoplasmic movements and cell motility as well as intracellular alterations during the process of cell degeneration and death.
The most primitive lymphoid cell observed in lymphatic tissue is the lymphoblast, a rather large, rounded cell with a large, round, or slightly indented, moderately vesicular nucleus. It possesses a thin nuclear membrane and two to four ovoid or irregular-shaped nucleoli. The
PHASE MICROSCOPE STUDIES AND CYTOCHEMISTRY OF THE LYMPHOCYTES. JAMA. 1960;174(13):1730–1731. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03030130058017
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