Erythrocyte

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Erythrocyte is the most abundant type of blood cell whose function is to transport oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nutrients throughout the body. Also called red blood cells because of their color, erythrocytes take up oxygen in the lungs and release it to the rest of the body and take the carbon dioxide from the body tissues and carry it to the lungs. An erythrocyte looks like a red biconcave disk. This shape allows it to have a large surface in relation to its volume, helping the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the inside of the erythrocyte and the blood plasma.

An erythrocyte is a cell without a nucleus and organelles; it contains only the cell membrane, a cytoskeleton and enzymes. It is composed of 97% of hemoglobin, which is a molecule that contains iron and has the oxygen-binding capacity. Erythrocytes are produced in the bone marrow and have an average life cycle of 120 days. A healthy adult has about 4 to 5 million erythrocytes per cubic millimeter of blood. If someone has less than that amount, it is said that he suffers from anemia, or is anemic, and must eat iron-rich food, such as red meat, eggs, and green vegatable.