What are blood cells
If we put a drop of our blood under a microscope we can observe a variety of moving elements. All of these elements are grouped together and are known, together, as blood cells.
Blood cells are types of cells that are found running through our veins and arteries in a liquid called plasma . Our body has three types of blood cells: red blood cells or erythrocytes, white blood cells or leukocytes, and platelets or thrombocytes.
An important step during the process of producing new blood cells is maturation, in which the three types of cells undergo the following changes:
- Decrease in size.
- The nucleus-cytoplasm ratio decreases (in erythrocytes the nucleus disappears).
- The chromatin appears darker because it is conglomerated.
- The nucleoli disappear.
- The cytoplasm loses its basophilic characteristics.
Blood cell function
Blood cells are an essential part of the circulatory system and each type of blood cell will fulfill vital functions for our body to develop correctly:
- Red blood cells (erythrocytes): they are responsible for supplying oxygen from the lungs to tissues and organs, in addition to carrying carbon dioxide from the tissues and organs to the lungs.
- White blood cells (leukocytes): their function is to fight infections and be part of our immune system.
- Platelets (thrombocytes): they are responsible for clotting the blood when we get a wound or cut.