Talk:Red blood cell

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Nuclear DNA[edit]

"Erythrocytes in mammals are anucleate when mature, meaning that they lack a cell nucleus and as a result, have no DNA." Should the phrase 'as a result' be removed? It implies that any cell without a nucelus has no genetic material at all. Bacteria have no nuclei but still contain DNA. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:00, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

I removed the "no DNA" part from that sentence. AxelBoldt (talk) 22:15, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

why are they here? Also, only bacteria cells do not have Nuclei —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:06, 22 November 2009 (UTC)


Do Human erythrocytes contain DNA or don't they? "They contain no nuclei." means very little. It implies that since nuclear DNA is found in the nucleus that they contain only mitrochondrial DNA. Very disappointed in the quality of this article. WIsh I knew enough to fix it. (talk) 13:30, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

No nucleus, no mitochondria; no DNA. Norman21 (talk) 22:15, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Nucleated RBCs[edit]

It may bhjsdfk.wsfgwk.eqgrt2e worth mentioning that a nucleated RBC is a I have added the article to the category named Respiration. I am now thinking that I should have added it to the sub-category within the Respiration category named Respiratory System. Respiration is something that red blood cells do by taking oxygen from the part of the Respiratory System called the Respiratory Tract to the cells of the body with mitochondrial Dna. Alec - U.K. 17:20, 22 November 2006 (UTC)


Okays, I'm wondering why at the very beginning, second paragraph, it says "Whitney cells..." out of nowhere. There is no indication of the word Whitney before hand and it makes absolutely no sense, whatsoever.

Thanks for catching that. It was vandalism, introduced here. It is now fixed. --Arcadian 22:13, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

I couldn't figure out where to post a new question, but i have one. Did they forget to mention that a human red blood cell contains none of the chromosomes? Or did i miss it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:45, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

"Erythrocytes in mammals are anucleate when mature, meaning that they lack a cell nucleus and as a result, have no DNA. In comparison, the erythrocytes of nearly all other vertebrates have nuclei; the only known exception being salamanders of the Batrachoseps genus.[7]" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:18, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Count Count[edit]

I've heard the body's entire supply of red blood cells recycles every 6min. True? Trekphiler 08:59, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

No. RBCs have a lifetime of 120 days, so it's not possible. Lennert B 16:00, 9 May 2007 (UTC)


What is the average RBC count for human?

-B —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:54, August 24, 2007 (UTC)

about 25 trillion--Amaher (talk) 01:20, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

Here and many other locations on the internet say that a red blood "cycle of circulation" is 20 seconds. What does that mean? releasing oxygen atoms? or a circuit around the body from when it leaves the heart to when it comes back again? The 3 references are to books I don't have access to. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Idji (talkcontribs) 12:40, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Feb. 2013

Fact Check Request: "cycle of circulation" is 20 seconds[edit]

Adding to the above question, it seems to me the claim of 20 seconds needs to be both fact checked and clarified. The cardiac output (time for total blood volume to flow through the heart) is around 1 min. That said, the actual time for a single cell to make the cycle would depend on what path it happens to take. For example, a path through the well-perfused brain would take under 20 sec, while travel through the muscle or fat group may take a cell over 2 min (WW Mapleson, Br. J Anaesth 1973; 45: 319-334). The timed animation seems particularly misleading, as it shows a path flowing through a capillary bed in the foot making a full cycle in 20s. This seems very fast for the given anatomy. I would appreciate comment from someone with more knowledge of the subject than I to clarify or correct this. Thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:51, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Vertebrate erythrocytes[edit]

There seems to be something wrong with this section. A paragraph intersects with a picture and makes the page really wide. I don't know how to fix this, but I just wanted to note it.Xasz 01:34, 9 October 2007 (UTC)


How much percent of 1 liter of blood are RBC's —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:56, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

ffgg —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:53, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

about 40-50% depending on whether your man or woman--Amaher (talk) 01:20, 20 January 2010 (UTC)


very shnify today bahh shnify —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:26, 17 May 2008 (UTC)

what are blood cells where do they come from. are they of live are we from space. if where from space did god. make us or did blood cells make us. are blood cells rael are we rael. are we just in a deam. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:58, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

what are blood cells[edit]

blood cells are thing that help your body live. red blood cells send air through the air gos to your lungs. and to your hart. white blood cells. they kill germs and they multiply and they can stop infections. platelets help your body stop bleeding when you cut your or a wound. platelets clump togther as soon as you start to bleed. the sticky clump of platelets traps red blood cells. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:55, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

A dubious desire to fork this page[edit]

Red Blood Cells (note caps) is the proper name (in the US) for approximately 200 ml of erythrocytes in storage solution used in transfusion medicine. This could easily be a separate article, since it's essentially used as a medication. I'm not sure if this proper name is used globally. Should this information be added here, should the page be forked? Red Blood Cells (transfusion medicine)? The same issue will come up with Platelets, though the fork there couldn't be based on capitalization. Somedumbyankee (talk) 14:15, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

I'll add the information to this article for now; I suppose a separate article could also be written if there's enough material for it. AxelBoldt (talk) 13:23, 28 July 2008 (UTC)
Even if the page isn’t split, I think it should be renamed to Erythrocytes with a redirect from Red blood cells --ITasteLikePaint (talk) 03:39, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
I Agree. It should be renamed to Erythrocyte with a redirect from Red blood cell (or Red blood cells). I have inserted a {{movenotice}} to formally suggest the renaming of the article -- Meewam (talk) 16:45, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
I tend to disagree: keeping the naturalness criterion in Wikipedia:Article_titles#Deciding on an article title in mind, it seems to me that more of our readers will look under "red blood cell" than under "erythrocyte", a word many would be hard pressed to pronounce properly. I prefer to keep the encyclopedia accessible and to avoid jargon whenever possible. For what it's worth, Encyclopaedia Britannica also uses the article title "red blood cell". Within our encyclopedia, we currently have roughly twice as many links to "red blood cell" and variants to "erythrocyte" and variants: Special:WhatLinksHere/Red_blood_cell&limit=500. AxelBoldt (talk) 23:37, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of the wiki policy on article titles, but now that I've read it I'll remove the {{movenotice}} -- Meewam (talk) 06:44, 1 February 2012 (UTC)


{{editsemiprotected}} Hemoglobins are not molecules; they are proteins.

TheGovernor11 (talk) 07:00, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes check.svgY In theory, it's a biomolecule, which includes heteromeric proteins. haz (talk) 07:51, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Hemoglobin is a molecule, and more specifically, a protein. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:43, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

The spelling is not standardized. It's "haemoglobin" in the introductory paragraph. There's also "haemolytic" in the Senescence section. (I started to fix it myself but this is the first time I've encountered semi-protection..... Danchall (talk) 16:38, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

To increase readability, after "haemoglobin" add, "(also spelled, 'hemoglobin')". Note, the linked page is spelled, 'hemoglobin'. BTW, why is this article semi-protected? Doesn't seem it would be a target of vandalism. Considering... (talk) 17:02, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

red blood cell[edit]

need more info —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:00, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

We need more info on what you need more info about. If you have a specific question, Wikipedia:Reference desk/Science may be able to help. SDY (talk) 12:41, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Erythrocyte shape[edit]

This Wikipedia article states: Mammalian erythrocytes are biconcave disks: flattened and depressed in the center, with a dumbbell-shaped cross section. This shape (as well as the loss of organelles and nucleus) optimizes the cell for the exchange of oxygen with its surroundings.

However, the shape of the red blood cell does not actually serve to optimize the cell for oxygen exchange. Since it is being squished through capillaries, it loses its shape when exchanging oxygen. Instead, it has been suggested that the biconcave shape of erythrocytes serves to maximize laminar flow and minimize platelet scatter, thereby suppressing atherogenesis. Source: The human erythrocyte has developed the biconcave disc shape to optimize the flow properties of the blood in the large vessels, C. Uzoigwe, 2006
Could someone edit that portion of the article?
Studytilidie (talk) 01:56, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

lifetime determinants, oxidative issues and species or specifics of hemoglobin structure[edit]

this also comes up with dogs and cats that seem particularly sensitive but these refs should outline some issues,

Sivilotti, ML (2004). "Oxidant stress and haemolysis of the human erythrocyte.". Toxicological reviews 23 (3): 169–88. PMID 15862084. 

Matarrese, P; Pietraforte, D; Gambardella, L; Vona, R; Maccaglia, A; Minetti, M; Malorni, W (Mar-2005). "Peroxynitrite induces senescence and apoptosis of red blood cells through the activation of aspartyl and cysteinyl proteases.". The FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology 19 (3): 416–8. doi:10.1096/fj.04-2450fje. PMC 10.1096/fj.04-2450fje Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 15650007.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

Denicola, A; Lissi, E; Freeman, BA; Rubbo, H; Radi, R (11-Jan-2002). "Diffusion of nitric oxide into low density lipoprotein.". The Journal of biological chemistry 277 (2): 932–6. doi:10.1074/jbc.M106589200. PMC 10.1074/jbc.M106589200 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 11689557.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

Nerdseeksblonde (talk) 02:54, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Kantar, A; Curatola, G; Fiorini, R (1992). "Alterations in erythrocyte membrane fluidity in children with trisomy 21: a fluorescence study.". Biology of the cell / under the auspices of the European Cell Biology Organization 75 (2): 135–8. PMID 1393150. 

Fernández, E; Martínez, G (Sep-1987). "Phototoxicity from nalidixic acid: oxygen dependent photohemolysis.". Il Farmaco; edizione scientifica 42 (9): 681–90. PMID 3691790.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

Thornalley, PJ (Dec-1985). "Monosaccharide autoxidation in health and disease.". Environmental health perspectives 64: 297–307. PMID 3007096.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

References repeated in the ref list[edit]

How can I make references added not repeat in the ref list, so they only appear once? In case anyone is interested here is my bibliography on the subject: —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rogeriopfm (talkcontribs) 22:08, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

Blood Group Confusion[edit]

In the section "History" it says: "A year later Alfred von Decastello and Adriano Sturli, two colleagues of Landsteiner, identified a fourth blood group - AB - the serum of which causes both A and B red cells to agglutineate."

I think this is wrong. The serum of somebody with blood group AB doesn't cause anybody's cells to agglutinate, because it doesn't contain antibodies against any blood group. Could somebody with more Wikipedia experience please confirm this and change the article accordingly! Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:52, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

I've removed the last part of the sentence, I don't think it requires any further classification, as the section is purely history-related. Besides, if AB serum caused agglutination, they wouldn't be able to accept any other blood than AB, which is incorrect. Perspeculum (talk) 13:27, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Interaction with glucose / glycated hemoglobin[edit]

I would like to see an explanation of how glucose interacts with red blood cells.

This article says: "Oxygen can easily diffuse through the red blood cell's cell membrane."

The diabetes A1C test measures the ratio of glycated hemoglobin - glucose binding to hemoglobin.

I assume that glucose (larger than O) must also enter the cell before binding to the hemoglobin proteins. Do RBCs actually utilize glucose as other cells do?

What's the purpose of merely binding to glucose? Why would this happen if glucose is needed for energy?

In most other cells, insulin is required for glucose to enter the cell. Is that true here? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Biotech99 (talkcontribs) 16:46, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Viruses and Red Blood Cells[edit]

Extreme exceptions, but the statement about it being impossible for viruses to infect red blood cells is too strong: This paper discusses viruses that get in early while there is still a nucleus (and therefore the red blood cell matures with the virus inside)

This paper discusses genetic engineered mice whose red cells trick the virus into infecting them (but the virus then cannot proceed because of lack of nucleus): — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:01, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

I concur with this sentiment. The ability of a virus to INFECT a cell is based on the glycoproteins that a certain cell carries on its lipid membrane which act as ligands for the viral protein receptors, NOT on whether a particular cell has nuclei or not. Without nuclei, the viruses might not be able to REPLICATE (distinct from INFECTION) in the cell - but of course, if the RBC is still ennucleated (as is the case in the bone marrow), it can still replicate there too. Please correct this. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:57, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Here is another complication for you. After a red cell loses it's nucleus, it is a reticulocyte for a few days. I think some viruses might be able to replicate in reticulocytes. --AJim (talk) 22:32, 24 April 2012 (UTC)


How many RBC are made/recycled every second? Asking cause it says on an interesting facts website "Your Body creates and kills 15 million Red Blood Cells every second"

Tgkprog (talk) 20:51, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

function of rbc[edit]

The introduction says that rbcs transport oxygen, which is certainly true, but it does not mention that they are also specialized to transport carbon dioxide back to the lungs, which is also a very important function. I guess I ought to go find a reference. --AJim (talk) 17:52, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

More specifically, here is what I have in mind. The circulatory system is designed to deliver oxygen to cells that are consuming it. These same cells are producing carbon dioxide in proportion to their consumption of oxygen. Hemoglobin takes up carbon dioxide as it gives up oxygen. Therefore it will be taking it up chiefly from cells that are producing it. It then carries this new production back to the lungs, where it gives it up while taking up oxygen. While most carbon dioxide in the body is in the form of bicarbonate ion, the concentration is closely regulated. It seems to me that while hemoglobin does not account for most of the carbon dioxide in circulation, it must account for a large proportion of the flow of carbon dioxide from producing cells to the lungs. --AJim (talk) 15:54, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Number of Heme in red blood cells[edit]

Section Human erythrocytes contains this sentence: "Each human red blood cell contains approximately 270 million of these hemoglobin biomolecules, each carrying four heme groups". Does somebody have a citation for this? 2*10^13 (#blood cells)*250x10^6*4(Fe)* 55(atomic mass) ≈ 260 grams. This is a lot but an underestimation. [1] gives 2.5 grams of Fe stored in hemoglobin in a human body. B.serengeti (talk) 18:48, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Haven't you forgotten to include Avogadro's number in your equation? Norman21 (talk) 22:11, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
It appears the calculation is a factor 4 off. In my lab we use reference values of 1,7 - 2,1 fmol Hemoglobin per cell. This multiplied by Avogadro results in 1,02 - 1,26 billion Hb molecules per red blood cell. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:33, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Inner life[edit]

We need to make a section on what organisms live within a red blood cell, human red blood cells at-least. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:48, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Edit request on 9 June 2013[edit]

I only have 7 edits so can not do this myself. I wanted to add the following text to the end of the section entitled 'Nucleus'.

The elimination of the nucleus in vertebrate erythrocytes has been offered as an explanation for the subsequent accumulation of non-coding DNA in the genome [cite reference quoted below]. The argument runs as follows: Efficient gas transport requires erythrocytes to pass through very narrow capillaries, and this constrains their size. In the absence of nuclear elimination, the accumulation of repeat sequences is constrained by the volume occupied by the nucleus, which increases with genome size.

[The Bigger the C-Value, the Larger the Cell: Genome Size and Red Blood Cell Size in Vertebrates doi:10.1006/bcmd.2001.0457]

Chalmersss (talk) 17:36, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

That's a fascinating idea! Done, thanks. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 00:48, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Protein biosynthesis[edit]

"As red blood cells contain no nucleus, protein biosynthesis is currently assumed to be absent in these cells, although a recent study indicates the presence of all the necessary biomachinery in the cells to do so.[24]"

I think the "...although a recent study..." caveat should be removed unless a proper reference can be added. The paper referenced here is a microarray study, and only shows that transcripts for some genes involved in protein biosynthesis are present in red blood cells. This is very different to "all the necessary biomachinery" (it's not even all of the transcripts).

--Danielstn (talk) 23:30, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

Hemoglobin spelling[edit]

spell the first hemoglobin right (talk) 01:53, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

It wasn't "wrong" (see ae and oe), but I've changed it to "hemoglobin" for consistency with the rest of the article. If you post another edit request, you should make sure it says answered=no, not answered=yes. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 11:25, 9 November 2013 (UTC)

Mammalian erythrocytes[edit]

a-red blood platelets, b-cells that oxygenate system, c-white blood platelets and d-immune system color green as the picture showed. Deferring with blood type as three group classes (EoD+/EoD-) or branches of negative and positive group as (Ab-E+/Eo+D-) referred FFP or, (O±β.m-RBC) O~Rh≃AB+ as when the two types are mixed in transfusion cases? Plasma or antibodies are much smaller then seen under the spectrum line, which computing power is a lacked speed. Having only a max speed of 4.8Ghz or lower, running in a hotter clause facture by flare power. Putting more then one processor together does not solve the problem when come to needed speed? Most microscopes use a light-sorces for an eye of it, a repeating speed is needed to see under the spectrum-line we do not have. E~CFU has one-part-pre-million and now one-part-pre-billion readers, as the needed grows in new Technologies needed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by OdentheGray (talkcontribs) 14:25, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 1 June 2014[edit]

Paragraph three, in the intro:

" in order to accommodate maximum space for haemoglobin. "

Seems hemoglobin is misspelled. (talk) 15:12, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Thanks, Older and ... well older (talk) 15:27, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

Edit request: Total cell count relative to RBC count[edit]

It has been more recently estimated (2013) that the average human body contains about 37.2 trillion somatic cells (excluding ~100 trillion microbial cells).[2] It appears that on average RBCs comprise 70% (26.3 trillion) of the somatic cell total. This entry says in two places the RBCs number only a quarter of the total human cell count and appears outdated. In my proposed revision here I break apart the claim of the relative percentage to other cell types from the claim of RBC density by sex (I don't think that my source speaks to them).

Existing text: Adult humans have roughly 2–3 × 1013 (20–30 trillion) red blood cells at any given time, comprising approximately one quarter of the total human body cell number (women have about 4 to 5 million erythrocytes per microliter (cubic millimeter) of blood and men about 5 to 6 million; people living at high altitudes with low oxygen tension will have more).

Proposed revision: Adult humans have roughly 2–3 × 1013 (20–30 trillion) red blood cells at any given time, comprising approximately 70% of the total human body cell number on average.[3] Women have about 4 to 5 million erythrocytes per microliter (cubic millimeter) of blood and men about 5 to 6 million; people living at high altitudes with low oxygen tension will have more.

Wurdeh (talk) 22:15, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^ Template:Http:// PMID: 23829164
  3. ^ Template:Http:// PMID: 23829164