blood circulating system

Blood

Plasma is the liquid component of the blood. Bblood consists of a liquid (plasma) and a number of cellular and cell fragment components. Plasma is about 60 % of a volume of blood; cells and fragments are 40%. Plasma has 90% water and 10% dissolved materials including proteins, glucose, ions, hormones, and gases. It acts as a buffer, maintaining pH near 7.4. Plasma contains nutrients, wastes, salts, proteins, etc. Proteins in the blood aid in transport of large molecules such as cholesterol.

Red blood cells, also known as erythrocytes, are flattened, doubly concave cells about 7 ┬Ám in diameter that carry oxygen associated in the cell's hemoglobin. Mature erythrocytes lack a nucleus. They are small, 4 to 6 million cells per cubic millimeter of blood, and have 200 million hemoglobin molecules per cell. Humans have a total of 25 trillion (about 1/3 of all the cells in the body). Red blood cells are continuously manufactured in red marrow of long bones, ribs, skull, and vertebrae. Life-span of an erythrocyte is only 120 days, after which they are destroyed in liver and spleen. Iron from hemoglobin is recovered and reused by red marrow. The liver degrades the heme units and secretes them as pigment in the bile, responsible for the color of feces. Each second 2 million red blood cells are produced to replace those taken out of circulation.

White blood cells, also known as leukocytes, are larger than erythrocytes, have a nucleus, and lack hemoglobin. They function in the cellular immune response. White blood cells (leukocytes) are less than 1% of the blood's volume. They are made from stem cells in bone marrow. There are five types of leukocytes, important components of the immune system. Neutrophils enter the tissue fluid by squeezing through capillary walls and phagocytozing foreign substances. Macrophages release white blood cell growth factors, causing a population increase for white blood cells. Lymphocytes fight infection. T-cells attack cells containing viruses. B-cells produce antibodies. Antigen-antibody complexes are phagocytized by a macrophage. White blood cells can squeeze through pores in the capillaries and fight infectious diseases in interstitial areas

Platelets result from cell fragmentation and are involved with clotting. Platelets are cell fragments that bud off megakaryocytes in bone marrow. They carry chemicals essential to blood clotting. Platelets survive for 10 days before being removed by the liver and spleen. There are 150,000 to 300,000 platelets in each milliliter of blood. Platelets stick and adhere to tears in blood vessels; they also release clotting factors. A hemophiliac's blood cannot clot. Providing correct proteins (clotting factors) has been a common method of treating hemophiliacs. It has also led to HIV transmission due to the use of transfusions and use of contaminated blood products.

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