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(ĭrĭth`rəsīt'): see bloodblood,
fluid pumped by the heart that circulates throughout the body via the arteries, veins, and capillaries (see circulatory system; heart). An adult male of average size normally has about 6 quarts (5.6 liters) of blood.
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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a red blood corpuscle, or cell, in man, the vertebrates, and some invertebrates (echinoderms). Erythrocytes transport oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. They regulate the acid-base balance and maintain osmotic balance in the blood and tissues. In addition, amino acids and lipids are absorbed from the blood plasma, and transported to the tissues, by erythrocytes.

Mature mammalian and human erythrocytes lack the nucleus that is present in the early stages of their development—that is, in the erythroblasts. They have the shape of a biconcave disk. Erythrocytes consist mainly of the respiratory pigment hemoglobin, which is responsible for the red color of blood. The erythrocytes of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes are nucleated. The erythroblasts’ actively functioning nuclei gradually become inactive in the course of the erythrocytes’ development; they can, however, be reactivated. At the same time, ribosomes and other constituents that participate in protein synthesis disappear from the cytoplasm. The cell (or plasma) membrane plays an important role by permitting the passage of gases, ions, and water in the erythrocytes. On the surface of the lipoprotein membrane are specific glycoprotein antigens, or agglutinogens—the blood group factors responsible for the agglutination of erythrocytes.

The efficient functioning of hemoglobin depends on the erythrocytes’ area of surface contact with the environment. The smaller the erythrocytes, the greater their total surface area. The lower invertebrates have large erythrocytes (measuring, for example, 70 micrometers in diameter in the caudate amphibian Amphiuma), and the higher vertebrates have smaller ones (4 micrometers in diameter in goats). Human erythrocytes vary in diameter from 7.2 to 7.5 micrometers.

The number of erythrocytes in the blood normally remains constant, ranging from 4.5 to 5 million in 1 mm3 of human blood. The life-span of a human erythrocyte averages 125 days; approximately 2.5 million erythrocytes are formed and an equal number are destroyed every second. The total number decreases in anemia and increases in polycythemia. In the anemias, erythrocytes are found to change shape and size; they may be large (such as the megalocytes in Addison-Biermer anemia) or small, and they may, for example, be oval in shape (as in hemolytic anemia).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A type of blood cell that contains a nucleus in all vertebrates but humans and that has hemoglobin in the cytoplasm. Also known as red blood cell.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a blood cell of vertebrates that transports oxygen and carbon dioxide, combined with the red pigment haemoglobin, to and from the tissues
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is a quantitative measurement of erythrocyte size variability.
In current study, ceftriaxone, 100 mg/kg body weight did not alter the plasma, erythrocyte and tissue TBARS levels in comparison with control.(Table 1, Figure 1) Ceftriaxone, 200 mg/ kg, has significantly (p< 0.05) increased the levels of TBARS in plasma, erythrocytes and tissues in comparison with control group.(Table 1, Figure 1) Hence ceftriaxone in higher dose (200 mg/kg body weight) induces lipid peroxidation in albino mice.
And of the study they were reported that erythrocytes from tumor bearing animals were more fragile than those from control animals.
Hematology, Hemoglobin concentration, Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, Rita rita, Indus River.
Immune recognition of Plasmodium-infected erythrocytes. AdvExp Med Biol 2009; 653: 175-84.
Differences with borderline significance were also preserved, except for the number of erythrocytes and the membrane stability variable [H.sub.0].
Automated analyzers are used to count cells, measure hemoglobin levels, and calculate parameters such as the hematocrit and erythrocyte indices.
Associations between the element concentrations in hair and those in erythrocytes, urine, and water were initially evaluated using scatter plots, Spearman's rank correlation coefficients ([r.sub.S]), and principal component analyses.
Micronuclei observed in the mice erythrocytes from all treatments were counted and the means were tabulated in Table 2.
(1) To study the functional characteristics of erythrocytes and the state of hemoglobin healthy donors and in patients suffering from CAD with various levels of severity for angina of effort and MI on their admission to hospital
Conclusion: It was found that sepsis led to a high oxidative stress and to extensive modification of erythrocytes. It is proposed that a positive feedback mechanism, involving the activation of circulating leukocytes by these modified erythrocytes would maintain the pro-oxidative state even after the disappearance of bacteria.
In this study, we utilized red LED as a replacement of reduced low-intensity laser to irradiate erythrocytes in hypertension patients in vitro.