Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Blood's cell lines compared

I thought that this little table might help us grope around in haematology.  It compares the major three cell lines with respect to their concentrations, the signals that stimulate their proliferation, and the cell's lifespan once they've been released into the circulation.  

ConcentrationMajor StimulationLifespan
Erythrocyteabout 5 x 1012/lerythropoetin 120 days
Leukocyte4-11 x 109/lIL-3, G-CSF, GM-CSFN = 12 hours, M = months
Platelet150-450 x 109/lIL-3, IL-6, IL-11, TPO4 days

Key: N = neutrophil, M = monocyte, IL = interleukin, G-CSF = granulocyte colony-stimulating factor, GM-CSF = granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, TPO = thrombopoietin

Of note:
  • Erythrocytes are by far the most numerous, and they are followed by the platelets and finally the leukocytes.  There are about 700 red blood cells to each white blood cell. 
  • Erythrocytes and monocytes (and lymphocytes, although they're not shown) have relatively long lifespans.  Not so for the platelets or the neutrophils.  If the latter isn't activated, it lasts just hours.  (And even an activated one is viable for only slightly longer.)
  • Lastly, a complete list of all the stimulating factors for all the cells is ludicrously long and complicated.  I've only concentrated on the major ones for each major cell line.

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