The red blood cells transport oxygen to all the tissues of the body. The blood that is rich in oxygen is taken from the lungs and the carbon dioxide-rich blood is brought back to the lungs. This is an important process of metabolism. The mammalian erythrocyte lacks a nucleus. This makes the cells capable of transferring enough oxygen to the tissues. The biconcave shape of the cell ensures that there is a continuous exchange of oxygen over the largest area possible.
An untimely erythrocyte, known as a reticulocyte, usually retains traces of organelles. Reticulocytes contribute about 1â€“2% of the erythrocytes count and roughly estimate the RBC output rate. Abnormally low or high reticulocyte levels indicate variations in erythrocyte development. These organelle remnants are easily eliminated, so there are no internal cellular structural components of circulating erythrocytes. Mitochondria is absent, so anaerobic breathing is used by erythrocytes. The endoplasmic reticulum is absent, and hence, no protein synthesis takes place. This includes the cytoskeletal protein portion, the protein spectrin. Since the bulk of organelles are unavailable, hemoglobin molecules that transport gas are available internally. Talking about its thickness, the biconcave shape, therefore, gives a larger surface area in which gas exchange occurs. The oxygen provided by erythrocytes is dispersed through the plasma in the capillaries to reach the cells and then into the capillary walls. Capillary beds are very small, which delay the movement of erythrocytes and provide a maximum possibility for gas exchange. Sometimes, the capillary space is small which might cause the erythrocytes to fold together during their travel. Erythrocytes are shallow-centered discs. This form stabilizes the volume-to-surface ratio, allowing gas to be exchanged. This folding also helps the RBCs cross narrow blood channels.
In the lungs, hemoglobin binds to the oxygen and forms oxyhemoglobin. The oxygenated blood then moves to the tissue with the help of blood capillaries, where some of the molecules of oxygen are released. This depends on the oxygen requirement in the underlying tissues. The bloodstream at that moment contains carbon dioxide (CO2). About 76 percent of the CO2 mixes with the plasma and the rest is converted to bicarbonate. Some of it binds to the hemoglobin molecule and is then known as carbaminohemoglobin. The hemoglobin brings back CO2 from the capillaries to the lungs.
Production of Erythrocytes:
The nutrients are used for developing and maintaining the healthy state of a cell. Apart from amino acids, glucose, and lipids, there are some trace elements as well that aid this process.
Iron: Each heme group contains an ion in the hemoglobin molecule. Heme iron is more easily extracted from plant foods than from animal food products. The absorption of iron makes it a part of the bodyâ€™s total iron content.
Copper: It is a trace element that consists of hephaestin and ceruloplasmin. These two components are important in the synthesis of hemoglobin. In the intestinal villi, hephaestine absorbs iron from the cells of the intestine, whereas ceruloplasmin transports copper. These two components facilitate iron oxidation. During the deficiency of copper, the transport of iron from the heme decreases. This eventually leads to organ injury.
Zinc: It has a major part in the synthesis pathway and acts as a co-enzyme in facilitating the synthesis process of hemoglobin.
B vitamins: They are represented by folate and vitamin B12. These are the coenzymes that play an important role in the synthesis of DNA. Therefore, these components of B vitamins are essential for the formation of new cells and also red blood cells.
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