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Red Blood Cells

Briefly describe the structural and molecular features of the red blood cell and

What are globulins? Protein group to which antibodies belong
How long do RBCs circulate for before they are removed? 120 days
What shape are RBCs? Biconcave disc shaped
What does their shape give RBCs? A large surface area in relation to their volume
How big is the RBCs nucleus? They don't have one lol
What does the flexibility of the RBCs cell membrane allow? allows the cell to easily squeeze through normal capillaries Although a red blood cell is wider than some capillaries, its flexibility allows it to become distorted as it squeezes through narrow passages and then restores  to its original shape.
Why do RBCs have no nucleus or sub-cellular organelles? RBCs have no nucleus or any other sub-cellular organelles - this leaves maximum space for the respiratory pigment haemoglobin (dark red)
What structural thing makes the RBC so flexible? Inner surface contains actin - makes them flexible
Where are RBCs produced and by what process? RBCs are produced in body marrow by the process of erythropoiesis
What process are RBCs produced by? erythropoiesis
How is oxygen transported in the blood? Oxygen is transported joined to haemoglobin as oxyhaemoglobin (bright red)
What else can haemoglobin carry? O2
What may the number of RBCs vary with? The number of red blood cells may vary depending on geographical location – a person who lives in high altitudes will have more red blood cells.
What does a RBC lack? Nucleus, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticulum
What allows RBCs to produce small amounts of energy? enzymes within the RBCs allow it to produce small amounts of energy (ATP from glucose)
What is the functional component of RBCs? Haemoglobin
What is the stimulus for producing RBCs? Hypoxia (low oxygen state)
As well as hypoxia what else needs to be there to stimulate the production of RBCs? However, hypoxia alone will not be sufficient to trigger the production of new red blood cells unless the hormone erythropoietin is circulating in the bloodstream
What is the hormone erythropoietin produced by? Kidneys
What happens to RBCs rather than being actively removed and where does this primarily happen? Most of the red blood cells self destruct rather than being actively removed from the circulation and destroyed. The primary site where this occurs is in the spleen
Created by: Aimee76
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