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Flashcards in Blood Deck (20):

What is the average circulating volume of blood in a typical adult male?

5 Litres
o 1 in Lungs
o 3 in systemic venous circulation
o 1 in heart and arterial circulation


List the functions of blood

o Carriage of physiologically active compounds e.g. hormones, nutrients
o Clotting e.g. Prothrombin + Fibrinogen
o Defence e.g. Leukocytes
o Carriage of gas e.g. Oxygen/CO2
o Thermoregulation
o Maintenance of ECF pH


Describe the composition of plasma

Plasma is 95% water and is used to circulate biologically active molecules and compounds. Small changes in protein composition can be indicative of problems elsewhere. Plasma proteins can be divided into 3 sub catagories.
• Transports lipid and steroid hormones
• Helps create colloid oncotic pressure
• Alpha/Beta transport lipids and fat-soluble vitamins
• Gamma globulins are antibodies
Fibrinogen and other clotting factors


Define the term oncotic pressure and describe the factors responsible for its generation

Oncotic pressure, or colloid osmotic pressure, is a form of osmotic pressure exerted by proteins, notably albumin, in a blood vessel's plasma (blood/liquid) that usually tends to pull water into the circulatory system.

Plasma proteins do not readily cross the capillary wall. These proteins displace water and create an osmotic potential. This creates a pressure that can pull water from the interstitial space into the lumen. When the water moves, chemicals and nutrients move too, however this only changes the volume, not the concentration.


Describe the structure and function of a red blood cell

Red cells are the most abundant (between 4 and 6x1012/L).
They have a 120 day life span and are needed to carry oxygen around the body using haemoglobin. They are highly flexible, bi concave and non-nucleated.
No mitochondria so rely on glycolysis


Describe the function of erythropoietin, where it is synthesised and the factors which may increase secretion.

Erythropoiesis is controlled and accelerated by the protein Erythropoietin. It is mainly secreted by the peritubular capillary cells found in the kidneys, and also the hepatocytes of the liver (85%/15% respectively). It speeds up the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into erythroblasts. Secretion is increased when the oxygen supply to the kidneys is reduced. This can be caused by a number of factors, for example;
o Hypoxia
o Haemorrhage
o Anaemia
o Lung disease


Name the 5 main types of leukocytes

Neutrophils - phagocytic
Eosinophils - parasites and allergy
Basophils - heparin and histamine
Monocytes - macrophages
Lymphocytes - adaptive T and B


Describe neutrophils

• 68% of WBC population (2.5-2.7x10-9/L)
• Half-life of around 6 hours
• Phagocytic and mainly deal with bacterial infection
• Can trap bacteria in NETS


Describe eosinophils

• Around 1.5% of population (0.1-0.44x10-9/L)
• Attack pathogens too large for other leukocytes (eg. Parasites)
• Number rapidly increases in allergic reactions


Describe basophils

• Around 0.5% of population (0.1x10-9/L)
• Release histamine and heparin to promote inflammation


Describe monocytes

• 5% (0.2-0.8x10-9/L)
• Largest leukocyte
• 72 hour life span in circulation
• Migrate to tissues and become macrophages (phagocytic)


Describe lymphocytes

• 25% (1.3-3.5x10-9/L)
• Key components of immune system
• T and B cell variants


What factors influence WBC formation?

Leukopoiesis is more complex that erythropoiesis and is controlled by a cocktail of cytokines.
o Growth Stimulating Factors
o Interleukins

They are released by endothelial cells, fibroblasts and mature white cells, and stimulate mitosis and maturation of leukocytes. The cocktail is dynamic and changes its composition to suit which specific cell type is needed at any given moment.


What are the functions of platelets?

Platelets are unique membrane bound fragments of megakaryocytes. Their formation is governed by thrombopoietin.
Platelets adhere to damaged capillary walls and exposed connective tissue to mediate blood clotting. They do not adhere to healthy epithelium.


Define haematocrit

The percentage of blood made up of red blood cells. In males, it is usually between 40-54% and for females, between 37-47%, but these can be changed by certain factors. For example, living at altitude can increase haematocrit due to the need for more haemoglobin to bind the lower conc. of oxygen.


Define what is meant by blood viscosity, and factors that can affect blood viscosity

The thickness of blood in comparison to water. Plasma is 1.8x thicker, whole blood is 3-4x thicker. This can change with haematocrit, temperature and flow rate.


Outline the mechanisms of platelet formation

Platelets are produced in the bone marrow, the same as the red cells and most of the white blood cells. Platelets are produced from very large bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes.


Define the healthy blood volume of a newborn baby



What is hypoproteinemia and what can cause it?

Abnormally low levels of circulating plasma protein. Causes include:
o Prolonged starvation
o Liver disease
o Intestinal diseases
o Nephrosis (kidney disease)
Common characteristic - oedema due to loss of oncotic pressure, often seen in ankles and wrists. This is due to the movement of water from low protein containing plasma into tissues


What causes the colour change in blood?

Colour change seen depending on state of cell and state of haemoglobin
o Oxyhaemoglobin (arterial) - bright red
o Deoxyhaemoglobin (venous) - dull red/purple, almost blue