The cell is the smallest and basic unit of living organisms. Eukaryotic cells have a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles, while prokaryotic cells lack a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles. Corpuscle is a term that specifically refers to small bodies or cells that are floating or suspended in blood and lymph. Therefore, corpuscles are red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, etc. Mature red blood cells do not have a nucleus. Moreover, some corpuscles do not have a nucleus. Therefore, the presence and absence of a nucleus that controls all metabolic activities of the cell is also a difference between cell and corpuscles.
What is a Cell?
A cell is the functional and structural unit of the organism. It works as a building block of living organisms. Unicellular organisms have one cell while multicellular organisms have several to billions and trillions of cells. A eukaryotic cell has a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles. The cell’s nucleus contains all the genetic information required for the functioning of the cell. Therefore, any mutation in the genes can alter the functions of the cell. Prokaryotic cells do not possess a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles. Their genetic material is distributed in the cell cytoplasm.
Generally, a eukaryotic cell contains different cell components including cell wall, cell membrane, cytoplasm, nucleus, mitochondria, Golgi bodies, ribosomes, lysosomes, ER, peroxisomes, etc. When considering the animal cells and plant cells, the plant cells have a rigid cell wall composed of cellulose. Animal cells lack a cell wall. Moreover, plant cells have chloroplasts while animal cells do not have chloroplasts.
What are Corpuscles?
Corpuscles are small cells that are floating in the blood or lymph. Blood cells, mainly red blood cells and white blood cells, are known as red corpuscles and white corpuscles. White corpuscles have a nucleus, and they are capable of moving along the bloodstream. Red corpuscles do not have a nucleus. They are biconcave in shape. Moreover, they are the main cells responsible for the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body.
With regard to the blood cells, the white blood cells act as nucleated cells. There are different types of white blood cells such as granulocytes and agranulocytes. Both have a prominent nucleus or a segmented nucleus. Granulocytes possess granules in the cytoplasm whereas agranulocytes lack granules.
What are the Similarities Between Cell and Corpuscles?
- Both cell and corpuscles are microscopic in size.
- Both are present in animals.
- They are involved in the transport process of the body.
- Eukaryotic cells and white corpuscles are nucleated.
- Prokaryotic cells and red corpuscles do not have a nucleus.
What is the Difference Between Cell and Corpuscles?
The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of an organism. Meanwhile, corpuscles are small cells, especially blood cells, floating in the plasma. So, this is the key difference between cell and corpuscles. Furthermore, the cells can be eukaryotic cells or prokaryotic cells. Meantime, the corpuscles can be red corpuscles, white corpuscles, or platelets.
The below infographic summarizes the difference between cell and corpuscles.
Summary – Cell vs Corpuscles
Cells and corpuscles are microscopic structures. The cell is a building block of an organism. Cells form tissues, organs, organ systems and finally an organism. Corpuscle is a term used to refer to blood cells. Specifically, it refers to small bodies or cells floating in the plasma. Corpuscles are not ordinary types of cells that are present in an organism. So, this is the summary of the difference between cell and corpuscles.
1. Dean, Laura. “Blood and the Cells It Contains.” Blood Groups and Red Cell Antigens [Internet]., U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Jan. 1970, Available here.
2. “Corpuscle – Dictionary Definition.” Vocabulary.com, Available here.