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Smallest and most numerous plasma protein, produced by the liver. Functions as transport proteins for several steroid hormones and for fatty acids.
Produced by liver and by plasma cells, which develop from B lymphocytes. Antibodies (immunoglobulins) help attack viruses and bacteria. Alpha and beta globulins transport iron, lipids, and fat-soluble vitamins.
Inorganic salts. Positively charged ions (cations) and negatively charged ions (anions) help maintain osmotic pressure and play essential roles in function of cells.
Products of digestion pass into blood for distribution to all body cells. Include amino acids (from proteins), glucose (from carbohydrates), fatty acids and glycerol (from triglycerides), vitamins and minerals.
Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, and nitrogen. More oxygen is associated with hemoglobin inside red blood cells, but more carbon dioxide is dissolved in plasma. Nitrogen is present but has no known function in the body.
Regulatory Substances (in plasma)
Enzymes, produced by body cells, catalyze chemical reactions. Hormones, produced by endocrine glands, regulate metabolism, growth, and development. Vitamins are cofactors for enzymatic reactions.
Waste Products (in plasma)
Most are breakdown products of protein metabolism and are carried by blood to organs of excretion. Include urea, uric acid, creatine, creatinine, bilirubin, and amonia.
Formed elements of the blood
Red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets. RBCs and WBCs are whole cells but platelets are cell fragments.
The percentage of total blood volume occupied by RBCs. The normal range for females is 38-46% and for males, 40-54%.
Hemopoiesis or hematopoiesis
The process by which the formed elements of blood develop. Before birth, occurs in liver, spleen, thymus, and lymph nodes of fetus. Red bone marrow becomes the primary site in the last three months before birth and continues as primary site throughout the lifespan.
The large, uniform-sized granules within an eosinophil are eosynophilic, they stain red-orange with acidic dyes. The granules usually do not cover or obscure the nucleus, which most often has 2 or 3 lobes connected by a thin strand of nuclear material.
The round, variable sized granules of a basophil are basophilic. They stain blue-purple with basic dyes. The granules commonly obscure the nucleus, which has two lobes.
The granules of a neutrophil are smaller, evenly distributed, and pale lilac in color. Because the granules do not strongly attract either the acidic (red) or basic (blue) stain, these WBCs are neutrophilic. The nucleus has 2-5 lobes, connected by very thin strands of nuclear material. As the cells age, the number of nuclear lobes increases.
The nucleus of a lymphocyte stains dark and is round or slightly indented. The cytoplasm stains sky blue and forms a rim around the nucleus. The larger the cell, the more cytoplasm is visible. Lymphocytes may be as small as 6-9 micrometers in diameter or as large as 10-14. An increase in the number of large lymphocytes has diagnostic significance in acute viral infections an in some immunodeficiency diseases.
The nucleus of a monocyte is usually kidney shaped or horse shoe shaped, and the cytoplasm is blue-gray and has a foamy appearance. The cytoplasm's color and appearance are due to very fine azurophilic granules, which are lysosomes. Blood is merely a conduit for monocytes, which migrate from the blood into the tissues, where they enlarge and differentiate into macrophages.
Formerly called diapedesis. The process of WBCs crossing the capillary walls to roll along the endothelium, stick to it, and then to squeeze between the endothelial cells.
Process of neutrophils and macrophages ingesting bacteria and disposing of dead matter.
A hormone that influences myeloid stem cells to develop into precursor cells called megakaryoblasts, which develop into megakaryocytes (huge cells that splinter into fragments in the bone marrow an then enter the bloodstream. Each fragment is a platelet or thrombocyte).
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