Difference between white and red blood cells
White blood cells vs red blood cells:
The human body contains five to six liters of blood that serve as the vehicle which transports oxygen to thousands of cells of which our bodies are made of. Blood in addition to this serves a myriad of other purposes as well. Blood is essential for the survival of all beings including animals and it consists of three major parts which can be named as white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. It is the fluid which contains these three parts which circulate through the blood vessels in our bodies, enabling the many operations that are essential for the healthy functioning of the body.
What are white blood cells?
White blood cells, also known as leukocytes are a part of the immune system and they provide a defense against disease causing microorganisms in the body such as viruses and bacteria. They are produced within the bone marrow and these disease fighting agents produce antibodies which are powerful enough to overpower disease causing germs as well as devour harmful bacteria. White blood cells are also responsible for removing dead or dying red blood cells from within the body and they are also known to be devouring other foreign substances which enter our body such as dust and asbestos particles. White blood cells are of many types. Of these types, T cells and macrophages are known as the killer cells which destroy microbes upon discovery and B cells are responsible for the immune system’s memory as well as for antibody creation.
About red blood cells
Red blood cells which are primarily made up of hemoglobin because of which they get their color, are responsible for travelling through the bloodstream in a mission of transporting oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. They also carry carbon dioxide back to the lungs. Here, red blood cells are sent to the lungs, where oxygen is picked up in the capillaries surrounding the alveoli of the lungs where oxygen is once again bonded to the red blood cell and returned to the heart. It is the heart that is then responsible for pumping blood through the arteries to tissue cells in the body. Once the red blood cell reaches its destination, it drops off the oxygen that it carries and the deoxygenated red cell is once again returned to the heart through the veins in order to get ready for the another journey to the cells.
What is the difference between white blood cells and red blood cells?
White blood cells and red blood cells are originated in the same place which is the bone marrow. However, the red blood cells and the white blood cells perform completely different functions from one another which serve as the main difference between the two. White blood cells are the main agents of the immune system that are responsible for warding off harmful microorganism as well as fighting against germs and other harmful substances while red blood cells perform the important function of travelling oxygen from the heart to the cells. Without oxygen the cells cannot function.
It is because of the presence of the red blood cells in the blood that blood is given its red color. Red blood cells are referred to in their medical name as erythrocytes while the medical term for white blood cells is leukocytes. However, these two kinds of blood cells that are present in blood differs in numbers. Healthy blood is known to contain more red blood cells in it than white blood cells where red blood cells make up of about 40-50% of the blood whereas white blood cells only consist of around 1% of the total blood volume. However, people suffering from anemia are likely to have a lesser amount of blood cells and are more likely to appear weak and unenergetic. An excess of red blood cells is also known to be causing problems such as kidney diseases and fibrosis of the organs in the pulmonary. Too much of red blood cells in the blood leads to thickening of the blood which will eventually result in heart disease and hypertension. On the other hand, people who are fighting with a disease portray a high amount of white blood cells in the blood. However, an abnormal increase in white blood cells is known as leukemia which is known as a blood cancer that mostly affects children of a certain age.
White and red blood cells also have very different life spans. All blood cells must outlive their life time and die while more and more blood cells are being generated each day. However, the average life span of a red blood cell is known as 120 days whereas white blood cells have a much shorter lifespan which consists of an average of a few days to few weeks. Also structure wise, red blood cells are not known to have a specific shape or a nuclei like white blood cells of which the shapes depend upon their various functions.