Red Blood Cell vs White Blood Cell
Blood is a complex connective tissue. It consists of two components (i) Plasma (ii) blood cells. The plasma is a viscous alkaline fluid constituting about 55% of blood. Almost 45% of the blood volume consists of blood cells. There are of two types of blood cells, which are red blood cells and white blood cells. Here, we will discuss the structural and functional differences between the Red Blood Cell and White Blood Cell.
Red Blood Cell
The red blood cells (RBC) or erythrocytes are the most common cell type in blood (4.5-5.5 million) and have a biconcave shape. They have lost their nucleus as an adaptive measure to carry out its functions efficiently. The life span of a RBC is about 120 days after which it is destroyed in the spleen / liver. The production of RBC occurs in the bone marrow of large bones. An important characteristic of erythrocytes is the presence of the red coloured haemoglobin pigment which combines reversibly with oxygen and helps carry it throughout the human body. The enzyme carbonic anhydrase helps carry carbon dioxide from cells to the lung.
White Blood Cell
Leucocytes or white blood cells (WBC) are colourless because they lack pigment. The number of WBCs in blood has a range of 7,000-10,000/mm3. There are five types of WBCs. These cells are distinguished from one another by their staining characters, size and the shape of their nucleii. Using the staining character, they can be divided in to granulocytes and agranulocytes. Granulocytes contain a lobed nucleus and a granulated cytoplasm. They are all capable of amoeboid movement and are further subdivided in to neutrophils, eosinophils and basophiles. Neutrophils and eosinophils are capable of phagocytising foreign invasive cells, cellular secretion of particles. Basophile granules contain histamines and heparin, which help to cause an inflammatory reaction. The agranulocytes possess a non-granular cytoplasm and either an oval or a bean -shaped nucleus. Two main types of agranulocytes exist; monocytes and lymphocytes. These help the body fight against disease and external infections through phagocytosis and making antibodies respectively.
What is the difference between Red Blood Cell and White Blood Cell?
• Both red and white blood cells together form the cellular portion of blood.
• The RBC carries a pigment showing them in a red colour, where as the WBC are colourless.
• The RBC is biconcave in shape, whereas WBC are shapeless.
• The amount of RBC found in blood is around 4.5 million per cubic mm and the WBC is only 4000 – 11000 per cubic mm which, changes with the degree of infection.
• The RBC in mammals are anucleated, where as the WBC always have a nucleus and which have different shapes and sizes.
• The RBC lack any granules in their cellular cytoplasm whereas, there is both granulated and agrnulated cytoplasm in WBC.
• There is only one type RBC in blood but, there are several types of WBC within blood.
• The main function WBC is fighting disease and developing immunity against them. But, the RBC mainly functions as a carrier of respiratory gasses.
• An increase of WBC indicates a disease condition yet, the decrease of RBC such a condition.
Both RBC and WBC are produced in haematopoetic stem cells in the bone marrow. They also form the cellular component of the blood together. They differ from each other by their colour, shape, size, amount and function. But both types are equally vital for the body to carry out its day to day functions and wellbeing.