Functions and composition of red blood cells

Erythrocytes, or red blood cells, are non-nuclear biconcave oval cells. Their number in 1 mm³ of human blood is approximately 5.5 million.

Red blood cells are formed in the red bone marrow. In the process of maturation, they lose their nucleus and become nuclear-free.

Red blood cell function

The function of red blood cells is to transport oxygen from the lungs to tissues and remove carbon dioxide. The absence of a core and the shape of a biconcave disc facilitates efficient binding and transport of these gases.

Erythrocyte structure

The erythrocyte is filled with hemoglobin, a red respiratory pigment.

Hemoglobin consists of two parts: protein – globin – and iron – heme.

Hemoglobin is able to easily attach oxygen. The combination of hemoglobin with oxygen has a bright red color. Oxygenated blood is called arterial blood.
The connection of hemoglobin with oxygen is unstable. When it breaks down, hemoglobin and free oxygen are again formed, which enters the tissue cells. Oxygen-depleted blood is called venous blood.

Life span

The life span of an erythrocyte is about 120 days (then it is destroyed in the liver or spleen).

With poor nutrition, large blood loss, with a violation of the formation of red blood cells, anemia develops (a decrease in the number of red blood cells in the blood or a decrease in the hemoglobin content in them). Good nutrition, rest and being in the fresh air contribute to the restoration of the normal content of hemoglobin in the blood.

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