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Regulation of pH and osmosis. 5. Maintenance of body temperature. 6. Protection against foreign substances. 7. Clot formation Composition of Blood Blood is a type of connective tissue that consists of cells and cell fragments surrounded by a liquid matrix. The cells and cell fragments are the formed elements, and the liquid is the formed elements account for slightly less than half and plasma accounts for slightly more than half the total blood volume. The total blood volume in the average adult is about 4-5 liters (L) in females and 5-6 L in males. Blood makes up about 8% of total body weight.
Plasma Plasma is a pale yellow fluid that consists of about 91% water; 7% proteins; and 2% other substances, such as ions, nutrients, gases, and waste products. Plasma proteins include albumin, globulins, and fibrinogen. Albumin makes up 58% of the plasma proteins. Although the osmotic pressure of blood results primarily from sodium chloride, albumin makes and important contribution. The water balance between blood and tissues is determined by the movement of water into and out of the blood by osmosis. Globulins account for 38% of the plasma proteins. Some globulins, such as antibodies and complement, are part of the immune system. Other globulins and albumin function as transport molecules because they bind to molecules such as hormones and carry them in the blood throughout the body. Some globulins are clotting factors, which are necessary for the formation of blood clots. Fibrinogen is a clotting factor that constitutes 4% of plasma proteins. Activation of clotting factors results in the conversion of fibrinogen into fibrin, a threadlike protein that forms blood clots. Serum is plasma without the clotting factors. Plasma volume remains relatively constant. Normally water intake through the digestive tract closely matches water loss through the kidneys, lungs, digestive tract, and skin. Oxygen enters blood in the lungs, and carbon dioxide enters blood
endocrine glands. a red-pigmented molecule. they are unable to divide. which accounts for about a third of the cell’s volume and is responsible for its red color. called a globin. Hemoglobin is responsible for 98. red blood cells lose their nuclei and most of their organelles. Other suspended or dissolved substances in the blood come from the liver. Red Blood Cells Normal red blood cells are disk-shaped cells with edges that are thicker than the center of the cell. which consists of four proten chains and four heme groups. Each protein. Oxygen transport is accomplished by hemoglobin. Small amounts of iron are required in the diet to replace the small amounts lost in the urine and feces. Each iron in a heme molecule can reversibly associate with an oxygen molecule. or leukocytes. or thrombocytes. During their development. the red blood cell can bend or fold around its thin center. or erythrocytes. Each heme contains one iron atom. Hemoglobin picks up oxygen in the lungs and releases oxygen in other tissues. it is not surprising that twothirds of the body’s iron is found in hemoglobin. Red blood cells are 700 times more numerous than white blood cells and 17 times more numerous than platelets. The remaining 5% of the volume of the formed elements consists of white blood cells (WBSs).from tissues. In addition. and immune tissues such as the lymph nodes and spleen. intestines. Because iron is necessary for oxygen transport. The greater surgace area makes it easier for gases to move into and out of the red blood cell. Red blood cells live for about 120 days in males and 110 days in females. Function The primary functions of red blood cells are to transport oxygen from the lungs to the various tissues of the body and to assist in the transport of carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. The biconcave shape increases the surface area of the red blood cell compared with a flat disk of the same size. Consequently.5% of the oxygen transported in blood. kidneys. is bound to one heme. and cell fragments called platelets.5% is transported dissolved in plasma. The concentration of these substances in the blood is also regulated and maintained within narrow limits. which is necessary for the normal function of hemoglobin. Formed Elements About 95% of the volume of the formed elements consists of red blood cells (RBCs). The main component of a red blood cell is the pigmented protein hemoglobin. decreasing its size and enabling it to pass more easily through small blood vessels. The remaining 1. Women need .
hemoglobin. Carbon dioxide can bind reversibly to the globin part of hemoglobin. but some white blood cells are produced in lymphatic tissues. and red bone marrow. Production of Formed Elements The process of blood cell production is called hematopoiesis. and plasma. After birth. the types of formed element derived from the stem cells and how many formed elements are produced are determined by the growth factors. are spherical cells that lack hemoglobin. White blood cells form a thin. Each white blood cell type is named according to its appearance in stained preparations. catalyzes a reaction that converts carbon dioxide and water into a hydrogen ion and a bicarbonate ion. All the formed elements of blood are derived from a single population of cells called stem cells or hemocytoblasts. Carbon dioxide is produced in tissues and transported in the blood to the lungs. About 23% of the carbon dioxide in blood is transported bound to hemoglobin or other blood proteins. White Blood Cells White blood cells or leukocytes. Those containing large cytoplasmic granules are granulocytes. spleen. thymus gland. White blood cells can leave the blood and move by ameboid movement through the tissues. white layer of cells between plasma and red blood cells when the components of blood are separated from each other.more dietary iron than men do because women lose iron as a result of menstruation. The remaining 7% of carbon dioxide is transported dissolved in plasma. In this process. That is. and each has a nucleus. Two functions of white blood cells are (1) to protect the body against invading microorganisms and (2) to remove dead cells and debris from the tissues by phagocytosis. found primarily inside red blood cells. where it is removed from the blood. In the fetus. Carbon dioxide transport involves bicarbonate ions. Then the rest of the cell’s cytoplasm flows into the extension. and . hematopoiesis occurs in several tissues such as the liver. These stem cells differentiate to give rise to different cell lines. Although white blood cells are components of the blood. the cell projects a cytoplasmic extension that attaches to an object. the blood serves primarily as a means to transport these cells to other tissues of the body. hematopoiesis is confined primarily to red bone marrow. Approximately 70% of the carbon dioxide in blood is transported in the form of bicarbonate ions. lymph nodes. The development of each cell line is regulated by specific growth factors. each of which ends with the formation of a particular type of formed element. They are larger than red blood cells. The enzyme carbonic anhydrase.
which play an important role in preventing blood loss. each consisting of a small amount of cytoplasm surrounded by a cell membrane. The lymphocytic cytoplasm consist of only a thin. Platelets Platelets. There are two kinds of agranulocyes: lymphocytes and monocytes. which are large cells. which results in activation of the lyumphocytes. and any other debris within the tissues. sometimes imperceptible ring around the nucleus. contribute to allergic reactions. the least common of all white blood cells. or thrombocytes. Basophils. basophils. Their nuclei are commonly lobed. Neutrophils. Monocytes are the largest of the white blood cells. which phagocytize bacteria. Neutrophils usually remain in the blood for a short time (10-12 hours). cell fragments. reject grafts. chemicals from eosinophils are involved with the destruction of certain worm parasites. and they play an important role in the body’s immune response. Eosinophils contain cytoplasmic granules that stain bright red with eosin. They also release heparin. Lymphocytes are the smallest of the white blood cells. macrophages can break down phagocytized foreign substances and present the processed substances to lymphocytes. There are several types of lymphocytes. Dead neutrophils. Small fragments of these cells break off and enter the blood as platelets. are minute fragments of cells. contain large cytoplasmic granules that stain blue or purple with basic dyes. In addition. There are three kinds of granulocytes: neutrophils. control tumors. This prevention is accomplished in two ways: (1) the . and eosinophils. cell debris. move into other tissues. and regulate the immune system. After they leave the blood and enter tissues. Basophils release histamine and other chemicals that promote inflammation. with the number of lobes varying from two to four. have small cytoplasmic granules that stain with both acidic and basic dyes. Their diverse activities involve the production of antibodies and other chemicals that destroy microorganisms. and phagocytize microorganisms and other foreign substances. Eosinophils release chemicals that reduce inflammation. They are produced in the red bone marrow from megakaryocytes. dead cells. which prevents the formation of clots.those with very small granules that cannot be easily seen with the light microscope are agranulocytes. monocytes enlarge and become macrophages.and acidic stain. In additions. and fluid can accumulate as pus at sites of infections. They often have a two-lobed nucleus. the most common type of white blood cells.
A clot is a network of threadlike protein fibers. Thus. and new blood is produced to replace it. Fortunately. called fibrin. Blood Clotting Blood vessel constriction and platelet plugs alone are not sufficient to close large tears or cuts in blood vessels. results in the formation of a clot. death can occur. These activated platelets also release ADP and thromboxane. . and platelet plug formation quickly closes them. resulting in the activation of the platelets. when a blood vessel is damaged. ADP and thromboxane bind to their respective receptors on the surfaces of platelets. or blood can be lost from the body. Von Willebrand factor forms a bridge between collagen and platelets by binding to platelet surface receptors and collagen. After platelets adhere to collagen. Platelet Plugs A platelet plug is an accumulation of platelets that can seal up a small break in a blood vessel. When a blood vessel is severely damaged. blood can leak into other tissues and interfere with normal tissue function. A small amount of blood loss from the body can be tolerated. and fluid. If a large amount of blood is lost. which activates more platelets. a plasma protein. In the platelet release reaction. which seal holes in small vessels.formation of platelet plugs. Most platelet adhesion is mediated through von Willebrand factor. platelets. blood clotting. People who lack the normal number of platelets tend to develop numerous small hemorrhages in their skin and internal organs. Platelet adhesion results in platelets sticking to collagen exposed by blood vessel damage. Preventing Blood Loss When a blood vessel is damaged. but in actuality many of these steps occur at the same time. and blood clotting minimize the loss of blood. they become activated. or coagulation. platelets release chemicals. change shape. a cascade of chemical release activates many platelets. which help seal off larger wounds in the vessels. The formation of a platelet plug can be describes as a series of steps. resulting in the formation of a platelet plug. and release chemicals. which can bind to fibrinogen. such as ADP and thromboxane. fibrinogen forms bridges between the fibrinogen receptors of numerous platelets. Platelet plug formation is very important in maintaining the intergrity of the circulatory system because small tears occur in the smaller vessels and capillaries many times each day. and (2) the formation of clots. platelet plug formation. vascular spasm. which is a protein produced and secreted by blood vessel endothelial cells. As platelets become activated they express surface receptors called fibrinogen receptors. that traps blood cells. In platelet aggregation.
The blood contains several anticoagulants. The chemical reactions can be started in two ways: (a) the contact of inactive clotting factors with exposed connective tissue can result in their activation. and many of them require vitamin K for their synthesis. Most clotting factors are manufacture in the liver. or reduced synthesis of clotting factors because of liver dysfunction can seriously impair the blood-clotting process. Antithrombin and heparin. however. 3. however. Prothrombinase acts on an inactive clotting factor called prothrombin to convert it to its active form called thrombin. Normally the clotting factors are inactive and do not cause clotting. Consequently. they in turn activate other clotting factors. A series of reactions results in which each clotting factor activates the next in the series until the clotting factor prothrombinase is formed. the clotting factors are activated to produce a clot. a large quantity of clotting factors is activated. At an injury site. Thrombin converts the inactive clotting factor fibrinogen into its active form. Clot Retraction and Fibrinolysis After a clot has formed. After the initial clotting factors are activated. Control of Clot Formation Without control. low numbers of platelets. Following injury.The formation of a blood clot depends on a number of proteins found within plasma called clotting factors. Normally there are enough anticoagulants in the blood to prevent clot formation. Away from the injury site there are enough anticoagulants to prevent clot formation from spreading. 2. fibrinogen is not converted to fibrin. such as thromboplastin. a threadlike protein. many of the chemical reaction of clot formation require Ca2+ and the chemicals release from platelets. A clot is a network of fibrin that traps blood cells. (b) chemicals. Low levels of vitamin K. the activation of clotting factors is very rapid. it begins to condense into a more compact structure by a process known as clot retraction. and fluid. Platelets contain the contractile proteins. clotting would spread from the point of its initiation throughout the entire circulatory system. resulting in the formation of the clot. At each step of the clotting process. 1. Enough clotting factors are activated so that the anticoagulants can no longer prevent a clot from forming. each clotting factor activates many additional clotting factors. fibrin. released from injured tissues can cause activation of clotting factors. In addition. platelets. and no clot forms. actin . low level of Ca2+. which prevent clotting factors from forming clots.
and myosin. is squeezed out of the clot during clot retraction. other clotting factors activated during clot formation. plasmin. Platelets form small extensions that attach to fibrin through surface receptors. is converted to its active form. Over a period of a few days. Retraction of the clot pulls the edges of the damaged blood vessel together. which is plasma without the clotting factors. Thrombin. The damaged vessel is repaired by the movement of fibroblasts into the damaged area and the formation of new connective tissue. Serum. and tissue plaminogen activator (tPA) released from surrounding tissues can stimulate the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin. In addition. helping to stop the flow of blood. Clots are dissolved by a process called fibrinolysis. epithelial cells around the wound divide and fill in the torn area. plasmin slowly breaks down the fibrin. which operate in a similar fashion to the actin and myosin in muscle. An inactive plasma protein called plasminogen. . Contraction of the extensions pulls on the the fibrin and is responsible for clot retraction. and enhancing healing. reducing the probability of infection.