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Focus on red and white blood cells

Mar 01, 2024

These two types of blood cells are produced in the bone marrow and then circulate throughout our body via our circulatory system. But although they share a common origin, their tasks are very different.

Detailed definition of red and white blood cells

Blood cells are the essential component of human blood , which determine not only our state of health, but also our ability to fight diseases and infections.

Red blood cells , also known as erythrocytes , are the most common oxygen carriers in the human body. These biconcave cells, which lack a nucleus, are essential for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the various tissues of the body. They contain hemoglobin , an iron -rich protein that captures oxygen from the lungs and releases it into the body's tissues.

White blood cells or leukocytes are our body's defenders. These immune cells, larger and fewer in number than red blood cells, constitute our first line of defense against foreign invasions. White blood cells actively fight against bacteria , viruses and other pathogens, in order to keep our bodies disease-free.

Our body's ability to survive depends significantly on these two types of blood cells. Imbalances in their functioning can lead to serious illnesses such as anemia (lack of red blood cells) or leukemia (an excess of certain forms of abnormal white blood cells).

Exploration of the vital functions of red blood cells

These concave cells, also called erythrocytes, have a primary mission: the transport of oxygen. They are, in a way, our personal oxygen deliverers. They are filled with a protein called hemoglobin , which has the role of binding oxygen in the lungs and releasing it to the organs and tissues that need it.

Every day, your body must produce about two million red blood cells per second to replace those that are dead or damaged. It is a crucial process for maintaining life .

The journey of red blood cells through the body

Red blood cells , also called erythrocytes, perform a vitally important mission: transporting oxygen. Oxygen is vital to our body, and without it, our cells would die within minutes. Each red blood cell contains nearly a billion molecules of hemoglobin, the protein that captures oxygen in the lungs and releases it throughout the body.

Its concave shape gives it great flexibility and allows it to pass through the smallest capillaries, often narrower than itself. These incredibly effective red messengers travel approximately 1,000 km in the body during their 120-day lifespan.

Key role of white blood cells in immunity

White blood cells are created in the bone marrow and are a much smaller number than the red blood cells in our blood. However, their impact on our health is clearly disproportionate to their number. Their main role is to fight infections, a task they accomplish through different mechanisms.

As part of innate immunity , our body's front-line defense system, neutrophils , the most common type of white blood cell, engulf invaders through a process called phagocytosis. They also emit extracellular neutrophils (NETs), net-like structures that trap and kill microbes.

Lymphocytes , another type of white blood cell, play a critical role in our adaptive immunity. B cells produce antibodies that attach to and neutralize microbes, while T cells destroy infected cells and regulate the immune response.

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