Red Blood Cell Production and Regulation

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24 Questions

What percentage of blood volume is constituted by plasma?


What is the primary function of erythropoietin in the body?

To stimulate the bone marrow to synthesize new red blood cells

Which of the following is NOT a function of plasma proteins?

Transport of oxygen

What is the percentage of dissolved solutes in plasma?


Which of the following is a cause of microcytic anemia?

Iron deficiency

What is the term for the proportion of red blood cells in the blood?


What is the primary function of red blood cells?

Transport of gases between lung and tissues

What is the name of the process by which red blood cells are produced?


Which of the following hormones is necessary for the synthesis of hemoglobin?

Male sex hormones

What is the term for the chemical groups present on the red blood cell membranes?

Blood groups

What is the role of platelets in hemostasis?

Formation of blood clots

What is the percentage of water in plasma?


What is the term for the decrease in the average amount of hemoglobin in a red blood cell?

Hypochromic anemia

Which of the following is a function of blood?

Transport of hormones and vitamins

Which of the following is a consequence of iron deficiency?

Microcytic anemia

What is the term for the process of red blood cell production in the body?


What happens to water and small solutes at the arterial side of a capillary?

They pass through the capillary pores

What is the main function of hemoglobin in red blood cells?

To transport oxygen and carbon dioxide

Where does erythropoiesis occur in extrauterine life?

In the bone marrow

What is the average count of red blood cells per cubic millimeter of blood?

5 million

What percentage of blood viscosity is attributed to red blood cells?


How long can normal red blood cells survive?

120 days

What is the site of erythropoiesis in intrauterine life?

Liver and spleen

What is the function of hemoglobin as a blood buffer?

To regulate blood pH

Study Notes


  • Erythropoietin is a hormone synthesized in the kidney in response to hypoxia (decreased oxygen at tissues)
  • Stimulates the bone marrow to synthesize new red blood cells

Factors Needed for Erythropoiesis

  • Adequate balanced diet (iron, proteins, vitamin B12, and folic acid)
  • Hormones (e.g. thyroxine and male sex hormones)
  • Healthy organs (liver, kidney, and bone marrow)


  • Iron deficiency anemia (decreased iron intake, pregnancy, lactation, adolescence, and bilharziasis)
  • Aplastic anemia
  • Hemolysis
  • Pernicious anemia (Vitamin B12 deficiency)

Blood Indices

  • Hemoglobin (Hb) content
  • Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)
  • Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin (MCH)
  • Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC)

Blood Groups

  • Chemical groups present on red blood cell membranes
  • Antigenic in character, termed agglutinogens

Red Blood Cells

  • Non-nucleated circular biconcave discs
  • Contain hemoglobin
  • Average count is 5 million/mm³
  • Functions: transport of gases (O2 and CO2), blood buffer, and 60% of blood viscosity


  • Chromoprotein consisting of 4 subunits
  • Contains 4 iron atoms, each binding one oxygen molecule
  • Binds oxygen loosely


  • Occurs in bone marrow in extrauterine life and liver and spleen in intrauterine life
  • Rate of erythropoiesis must equal rate of red blood cell destruction to maintain normal red blood cell count
  • Normal red blood cells can survive up to 120 days

Functions of Blood

  • Respiration by transport of gases between lung and tissues
  • Nutrition by transport of nutrients from gut to tissues
  • Excretion by transport of waste products from cells to excretory organs
  • Regulation of function of cells by transporting various hormones and vitamins
  • Defense against bleeding (by blood coagulation) and against microbes (by white blood cells)

Composition of Blood

  • Consists of cells suspended in plasma
  • Plasma constitutes 55% of blood volume
  • Components of plasma: water, dissolved solutes, plasma proteins, nutrients, waste products, ions, and hormones

Functions of Plasma Proteins

  • Carrier function (iron and hormones)
  • Transport of carbon dioxide
  • Defense against bleeding (clotting factors)
  • Defense against infection (antibodies)
  • Act as buffers (maintain normal pH of blood)
  • Contribute to 40% of blood viscosity
  • Constitute the reabsorbing force at the venous end of capillaries

This quiz covers the role of erythropoietin, diet, hormones, and organs in producing red blood cells. Learn about the factors that influence red blood cell production and regulation.

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