|Red blood cell|
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 cells→common myeloid progenitor→proerythroblast→erythroblast→reticulocyte (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. 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.
- ↑ There are several types of erythroblast, each at a different stage of development, they are, in order of development: basophilic, polychromatic and orthochromatic