hemoglobination. Inclusions in the cytoplasm, such as Dohle bodies (infectious
diseases), Auer rods (leukemia), and toxic granulation (infection affecting the marrow)
are seen in the abnormal white cells.
Abnormal cells often show two nuclei in severe disturbances, such as leukemia.
Nucleoli have a retarded reduction. The nucleus can have an irregular outline or
indentation (Rieder cells). Hypersegmented nuclei occur in the neutrophils in sepsis
and in pernicious anemia. Abnormal maturation of the nucleus often results in variation
in cell size.
Section V. FUNCTIONS OF BLOOD CELLS
Each component of blood is uniquely capable of performing one or more
functions. Together, these components provide the maintenance of a relatively stable
environment of the body by a variety of mechanism. This maintenance of a relative
biological constancy or integrity is known as homeostasis. Once the blood cells reach
full maturity, they enter the bloodstream and begin fulfilling their functions.
Hemaglobin is the main functioning component of the cell. It carries out the
transportation of oxygen to the tissues and the removal of carbon dioxide. Hemoglobin
also aids in the maintenance of the delicate acid-based buffer system of the body. The
erythrocyte must also supply energy to accomplish the active transport of glucose and
ions against a gradient across the red cell membrane.
Leukocytes remove invading antigens (for example, bacteria) and to some extent
transport and distribute antibodies. Monocytes and all of the granulocytes have been
shown to demonstrate directional movement. Their movement is subject to chemotaxis
or the response of living protoplasm to a chemical stimulus. As mentioned previously,
the attraction of the leukocytes to bacteria and certain other particles by substances
released by the particles is called chemotaxis. They either transport the particles or
engulf them. The chemotaxis process of engulfing and destroying bacteria, or
phagocytosis, is a prime function of leukocytes.
a. Monocytes. These cells will engulf bacteria and larger materials, including
even protozoa and red cells, and are transformed into and/or are called macrophages.
In this regard, monocytes are perhaps the most efficient phagocytes of all the cells.
Monocytes contain many of the lytic enzymes that are found in microphages
(granulocytes). In addition, monocytes contain lipases that enable them to dissolve the
lipoid capsules of certain bacteria.