A lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system. There are two main types of lymphocytes: B cells and T cells. The B cells produce antibodies that are used to attack invading bacteria, viruses, and toxins. The T cells destroy the body's own cells that have themselves been taken over by viruses or become cancerous.
To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin
Lymphocytes are cells that circulate in your blood that are part of the immune system. There are two main types lymphocytes: T cells and B cells. B cells produce antibody molecules that can latch on and destroy invading viruses or bacteria. T cells are direct fighters of foreign invaders and also produced cytokines, which are biological substances that help activate other parts of the immune system. One such part is called macrophages. These macrophages act to clean up the invaders and the dead tissue after an immune response.
Lawrence C. Brody, Ph.D.
Chief & Senior Investigator, Genome Technology Branch; Head, Molecular Pathogenesis Section
Dr. Brody investigates the genetics of breast cancer and neural tube defects. As chief of the NHGRI Genome Technology Branch's Molecular Pathogenesis section, he is interested in studying genetic mutations that lead to perturbations in normal metabolic pathways and cause disorders such as cancer and birth defects. His laboratory investigates mutations in two breast cancer-linked genes, breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2). Dr. Brody's laboratory was among the first to report that women carrying BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations have a higher risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer than women without such mutations.