Differences between RBC and WBC – RBC vs WBC


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White blood cells are two of the components of the blood supply in mammals. RBCs (RBCs) are biconcave discs that are circular in shape with hemoglobin-containing pigments to carry oxygen throughout the animal’s body. Oxygen is essential to the catabolism of cells within animals. A portion of carbon dioxide is transported through RBCs. They are created as a waste product in catabolism. They are also known as white blood cells. (WBCs) contain a range of types of cells like leukocytes neutrophils, and monocytes. They are able to differentiate into various defense mechanisms. The major distinction in red and white blood cells lies with their purpose that red blood cells transport oxygen around the human body, whereas white blood cells play a role with the protection of animals by destroying pathogens that attack the body’s cells.

What are Red Blood Cells?

These are the kind of cells that are found in blood of animals and can be distinguished into transporting gases. They are also known as “Erythrocytes”. The size of RBCs is approximately 6 mm. This lets them squeeze through blood capillaries with small diameters within the body. RBCs are by far the most popular type of cells in blood. There are approximately 4 to 6 million cells within a cubic millimeters of blood. The lifespan of blood is around 120 days. Macrophages that reside in liver and spleen assist in the elimination out the old blood cells from the body. RBCs come in various hues because of their presence in pigments, such as hemoglobin, hemocyanin and hemovanadin, chlorocruorin and hemerythrin. Hemoglobin is present in vertebrates and provides a vibrant red color to the RBCs and also to the blood of vertebrates. Mollusks are hemocyanin-rich in their RBCs. This creates a blue-colored color in blood. Annelids are able to produce the color green chlorocruorin in their RBCs, and marine invertebrates are able to detect violet-pink color hemeryth within their RBCs. The yellow-colored hemovanadin color can be found in ascidians as well as tunicates.


The process that produces RBCs is known as “Erythropoiesis”. Through erythropoiesis, between 2 and 3 million RBCs are made and released into circulation through bone marrow. The mature RBCs in mammals do not have an nucleus that is used as a differentiation to allow for efficient transport of oxygen, by storing more hemoglobin within the RBC. The biconcave shape of cells enhances their ability to carry more oxygen via expanding the surface area to facilitate the diffusion of oxygen through an RBC. Contrary to this the non-mature mammals such as birds and fish contain an RBC nucleus. Anemia is caused by reduction of hemoglobin levels in RBCs within the circulation system.

What are White Blood Cells?

The white blood cells (WBCs) are a different kind of blood cell found in blood. They play a role in the defense mechanism in the animal body by eliminating pathogens. They are also referred to as “Leukocytes”. WBCs differ from one the other in terms of size and shape. The nucleus in some WBCs has several lobes. Certain nuclei are huge and round. Some WBCs are able to contain Granules within their cytoplasm. Therefore, they are referred to as”granulocytes. In addition to their appearance, WBCs consist of various roles in your body’s immune system.


Five kinds of WBCs can be found in blood. They include neutrophils, basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes as well as monocytes. Neutrophils have a poly-lobed nucleus that has an irregular shape. Therefore, they are referred to as polymorphonuclear cells. They are ganulocytes that contain the granules of enzymes to digest pathogens. Monocytes develop into macrophages as they migrate into tissue, where they engulf as well as digesting harmful pathogens. They have an immediate response before the entry of WBCs from other areas to the area infected. Kupffer cells found in the liver are macrophages. They remove harmful substances from blood. The harmful substances inhaled are eliminated by the Alveolar macrophages within the lungs. RBCs that are deficient or old are removed from circulation by macrophages within the spleen. Macrophages also function as antigen-presenting cells, which trigger immune systems.

T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes are two different kinds of lymphocytes in blood. B lymphocytes develop in bone marrow , whereas T lymphocytes mature inside the thymus. The nuclei of their nuclei are simple big, round, and large. B cells that are activated are referred to as plasma cells. They produce specific antibodies that stimulate an immunity response. T cells cooperate to other cells of the immune system through emitting chemicals. Both eosinophils and Basophils are cells that are granulocytes. Eosinophils are implicated in the trigger of the inflammatory response during allergic diseases. Heparin, an anticoagulant is found in basophils, hindering the formation of blood clots. In the course of an inflammation response, WBC count increases. A lack of macrophages can increase the chance of contracting bacteria-related infections. T cells are insufficient and can increase the chance of contracting infections caused by viruses.


Differences between RBC and WBC – RBC vs WBC

CharacteristicsRed Blood Cells (RBCs)White Blood Cells (WBCs)
Alternative NameErythrocytesLeucocytes
OriginIn the early stages they develop in the spleen and liver. After birth they develop in the bone marrow of the red.They develop in the red bone marrow as well as lymph nodes, the spleen and spleen,
Process of FormationThe formation of RBCs is known as “Erythropoiesis”The development of WBCs is known as “Leucopoiesis”
AbundanceMore numerous (4-5 million/mm3) These are among the largest cell in blood, accounting for around 40-45 percent of the volume.They are far less in numbers that red blood cell comprising around 1.5% of all blood (8000 /mm3).
SizeLess Than WBC ( 0.008 millimeters )Greater that RBC (0.02mm)
ShapeBiconcave disc-shapedRound or irregular in shape.
ColourRed cells are pinkish-brown in hue.White cells are non-colorless.
HemoglobinThe hemoglobin protein, a complex protein is the most important component of RBCs.Hemoglobin is not present in WBCs.
NucleusThe nucleus is missing (anucleate).Present and could be bilobed, irregular , or round.
Circulatory systemAre part of the cardiovascular system.Are part of the lymphatic system.
TypesSingle type.In healthy individuals there are at minimum five types of white blood cells that circulate in blood. White cells are classified into monocytes, granulocytes and lymphocytes.
Number IncrementThe number increases during exercise or when you are at altitudes.The infection can cause an increased quantity of WBCs.
Life expectancyThe life span is 120 daysThe length of life ranges from 5 to 21 days.
MotilityNon-motile , but they can move through circulation and possess the ability to squeeze into tiny capillaries.The majority of them are the motile.
MovementThe primary focus of movement is within the heart systemBetween the lymphatic and cardiovascular systems.
Type of movementDon’t leave the blood vessel.They could release blood vessels and end up in tissues.
Rouleaux formationForms of stacks or aggregation are referred to as RouleauxDon’t form Rouleaux
Related disordersAnemia is a result of disorders and thalassemia. They can also cause polycythemia and more.Lymphoma Leukemia and Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
FunctionThe body carries respiratory gases, including carbon dioxide and oxygen. Additionally, it helps to increase blood viscosity.Phagocytosis in addition to a its defensive role , which includes production of antibodies.
Differences between RBC and WBC – RBC vs WBC
Differences between RBC and WBC – RBC vs WBC

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