Difference Between White and Red Blood Cells
White vs Red Blood Cells
The human body is composed of multitudes of very important cells. In this connection there are two very importance blood cells that were given very trivial names and these are the white blood cells and the red blood cells. So how do they differ?
In terms of function, the two blood cells have very different roles in the body. Foremost, the red blood cells (RBCs) ensure that sufficient oxygen is supplied throughout the entire body. They have the pigment called hemoglobin ‘“ the oxygen carrying component of the blood.
Supplying adequate oxygenation to the system is equivalent to sufficient amounts of energy. Therefore, when somebody is suffering from anemia (low RBC count) then he or she will most likely appear weak and unenergetic. The opposite (abnormally high RBC count) is also bad for one’s health as it may induce kidney diseases and even fibrosis of the organs in the pulmonary (respiratory) system like the lungs. They will also have a thicker blood viscosity making them more prone to heart diseases and hypertension.
Aside from its function of supplying oxygen to the body, it also serves as a medium to get rid of some waste materials. Carbon dioxide is one of them. This gas is picked up by the RBCs for its expulsion from the system through a series of metabolic processes.
RBCs are also known in their alternative medical term as erythrocytes. Because of their presence in the blood, they contribute to the its natural red color. White blood cells, on the contrary, are otherwise called leukocytes.
WBCs fend off foreign invaders as they are the primary agents responsible for the body’s natural immune defense. They fight almost any pathological agent like bacteria, parasites and also allergens. T-cell is a specific type of WBC that is compromised in individuals who have contracted HIV. Like RBCs, an excess of WBCs is also bad for the health. In fact, this condition is known as leukemia, popularly regarded as cancer of the blood. There are also some medications that can lead to the opposite (decrease in WBCs). Some psychiatric drugs like Clozapine can lead to such and in turn makes the person an easy target for most diseases.
RBCs are more in number ‘“ about 5 million in every mm3 of blood. This is just too much compared to WBCs that only sum from 3,000 to 7,000 per mm3 of blood. Their lifespan also vary since RBCs tend to live longer (120 days) compared to WBCs (4 days the most).
Structure wise, RBCs don’t have any nuclei compared to white blood cells (WBC). Their shape can change most especially when they become squeezed. WBCs’ shape depends on their specific function.
1. RBCs are useful for the transportation of oxygen and carbon dioxide within the body while WBCs are useful in their role as the body’s natural defenders.
2. RBCs are more in number compared to WBCs
3. RBCs live longer compared to WBCs
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