An azurophilic granule is a cellular object readily stainable with a Romanowsky stain. In white blood cells and hyperchromatin, staining imparts a burgundy or merlot coloration. Neutrophils in particular are known for containing azurophils loaded with a wide variety of anti-microbial defensins that fuse with phagocytic vacuoles. Azurophils may contain myeloperoxidase, phospholipase A2, acid hydrolases, elastase, defensins, neutral serine proteases, bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein, lysozyme, cathepsin G, proteinase 3, and proteoglycans.
Azurophil granules are also known as "primary granules".
Furthermore, the term "azurophils" may refer to a unique type of cells, identified only in reptiles. These cells are similar in size to so-called heterophils with abundant cytoplasm that is finely to coarsely granular and may sometimes contain vacuoles. Granules may impart a purplish hue to the cytoplasm, particularly to the outer region. Occasionally, azurophils are observed with vacuolated cytoplasm.
- John P. Greer; Maxwell Myer Wintrobe (1 December 2008). Wintrobe's clinical hematology. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. p. 173. ISBN 978-0-7817-6507-7. Retrieved 10 November 2010.
- Bonnie Ballard; Ryan Cheek (May 4, 2010). Exotic Animal Medicine for the Veterinary Technician (2 ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. p. 391. ISBN 978-0813822068.
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