Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
plasma cell[′plaz·mə ‚sel]
a type of cell of the connective and hematopoietic tissues. Plasma cells are formed in vertebrates and man from hematopoietic stem cells of the bone marrow. Their principal function is the production of antibodies. Plasma cells are found in lymphatic and hematopoietic tissues, in serous membranes, and in the connective tissues of the organs of digestion and respiration; they accumulate during immunological reactions, for example, to foreign tissues and infection. They are round and have an eccentric nucleus that contains dense clumps of chromatin. The cytoplasm contains large amounts of ribonucleic acid and therefore stains strongly with basic stains. The only region of a plasma cell that absorbs little stain is near the nucleus, where the Golgi complex and the centrosome are located. The plasma cell also exhibits a well-developed endoplasmic reticulum and an abundance of ribosomes, which are characteristic of cells that actively synthesize and secrete proteins.
N. G. KHRUSHCHOV