Physiology and function of the blood cells

by Paul Moss, PhD

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    Hello in the second lecture in our series on haematology we're going to look at the physiology and function of some of the major blood cells, and the learning outcomes that we'll be getting from this lecture are as follows: We will look at red cell production and how that's regulated by erythropoietin, and we will explore how red cells contain haemoglobin and how that helps them to carry oxygen to tissue. We will look at the subsets of white cells which play specific roles in protection against infection and we will explore how lymphocytes mediate the function of the immune system and find out how neutrophils are critical in the first line of defence against bacteria and fungi. In this lecture we are not going to focus on platelets because they're the subject of a later lecture on blood clotting. Let's look at red cells in a little bit more detail, by far the most common cell within the blood. Red blood cells derive of course from a nucleated cell within the bone marrow and the first cell that is committed to forming red cells is the erythroblast and there are rare forms of leukaemia in fact derived from these cells. Red cells are packed with haemoglobin and they carry oxygen to tissue. The reason that we've evolved red cells is that it allows haemoglobin to be packaged effectively within these blood cells rather than being free within the blood, the major production of red cells is through this hormone called erythropoietin and we'll explore the regulation of erythropoietin in some detail. On the right, you'll see a lovely scanning electron micrograph of red cells and you'll see that classic biconcave disc structure of the red cell which allows it to be flexible and flow through the capillaries as...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Physiology and function of the blood cells by Paul Moss, PhD is from the course Hematology: Basics. It contains the following chapters:

    • Erythrocytes
    • Haemoglobin
    • Function of the Cells

    Quiz for lecture

    Test your knowledge with our quiz for lecture Physiology and function of the blood cells.

    1. They are useful in determining the relative activity of erythropoiesis in the marrow.
    2. They contain a nucleus that is lost soon after release into blood.
    3. Increased presence of reticulocytes indicates anaemia.
    4. They are detected by red stain on supravital staining.
    5. They exist for around 10 days before maturing to erythrocytes.
    1. It holds on to oxygen very tightly compared to myoglobin.
    2. It consists of 2 alpha and 2 beta chains.
    3. Iron is a major constituent of haem.
    4. It is not the major form of haemoglobin present at birth
    5. Each globin chain carries a molecule of haem
    1. Monocyte
    2. T lymphocyte
    3. Eosinophil
    4. B lymphocyte
    5. Platelet

    Author of lecture Physiology and function of the blood cells

     Paul Moss, PhD

    Paul Moss, PhD

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