Two adaptations that have been made by the red blood cell are the lack of a nucleus and organelles, or small, specialized bodies in the cell. This allows for more room in the blood cell for hemoglobin.Continue Reading
Hemoglobin is a molecule that bonds with oxygen and delivers it to the cells. Hemoglobin also gives red blood cells their red color. The development of a cell specialized in carrying oxygen throughout the body allows oxygen to be utilized more efficiently by an organism.
Red blood cells don't use the oxygen they carry because they lack organelles, such as mitochondria. Because they have no nuclei, they have no DNA or RNA and can't divide or repair themselves well. They live about 100 days before they are destroyed.
Other adaptations of red blood cells are their donut shape and flexibility. These adaptations allow them to squeeze through tiny capillaries.
Red blood cells also release adenosine triphosphate, or ATP when they find themselves in very narrow blood vessels. ATP causes the vessels to open up. Red blood cells also produce hydrogen sulfide, which signals the blood vessels to relax.
When the body is invaded by a pathogen, red blood cells attack it with free-radical molecules, which destroy the pathogen's cell walls.Learn more about Blood
A normal red blood cell count ranges from 4.7 to 6.1 million cells per microliter in males and from 4.2 to 5.4 million cells per microliter in females, states MedlinePlus. Normal values differ slightly depending on the laboratory and measurements used, so patients should discuss individual results with their doctor.Full Answer >
White blood cells, or leukocytes, contain the same organelles as eukaryotic cells, such as the Golgi apparatus, mitochondria, a nucleus and nucleolus, centrioles, rough endoplasmic reticulum, smooth endoplasmic reticulum and peroxisomes. White blood cells are important cells in the immune system, explains the University of Rochester Medical Center.Full Answer >
Equine infectious anemia causes a low red blood cell count in horses, according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This is a contagious viral disease that can result in death.Full Answer >
Anemia is a disease that is the resultant of a low red blood cell count and low hemoglobin levels. Low hemoglobin levels come from a reduced production of red blood cells or trauma that causes excessive bleeding, states Mayo Clinic.Full Answer >