Red blood cell
Red blood cells
Synonyms Erythrocytes, RBCs
MeSH ID D004912

Red blood cells are red-coloured blood cells that ferry oxygen and carbon dioxide through the blood via the binding of these molecules to haemoglobin (which has an iron-containing haem at their centre). They are myeloid lineage cells produced via: haematopoietic stem cellscommon myeloid progenitorproerythroblasterythroblastreticulocyte (where → indicates cellular differentiation).[note 1] A deficiency of RBCs is called anaemia; whereas an overproduction of RBCs is called polycythaemia. Their development and production is stimulated by the glycoprotein cytokine (or hormone, depending on who one asks), erythropoietin.[1] They lack many of the usual cellular organelles such as mitochondria (making them very efficient oxygen-carriers as they do not require any oxygen for their function) or nucleus.[1]


  1. There are several types of erythroblast, each at a different stage of development, they are, in order of development: basophilic, polychromatic and orthochromatic

Reference listEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Marieb, EN; Hoehn, K (2013). "Chapter 17. Blood". Human Anatomy & Physiology (9th ed.). Boston, USA: Pearson. pp. 634–638. ISBN 978-0-321-74326-8. 

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