Basic Histology -- Introducing Red Blood Cells Next Home Back

Your red blood cells ("erythrocytes") carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your tissues, and carbon dioxide in the opposite direction. The standard hematoxylin and eosin tissue stain was selected to stain red blood cells a brilliant red. Don't expect red cells in sections to look exactly like the red cells which you have seen in smears. They bend and deform as they travel through the tiny vessels of your body. You already know that normal circulating red cells do not have nuclei.

See if you can figure out which red blood cells are in a blood vessel, and which are outside. Red blood cells outside of the blood vessels are called "hemorrhage".

In the bloodstream, you will always see some nucleated cells as well. These are normally your white blood cells, which fight infection. This slide shows several neutrophils. You can spot them by their lobulated nuclei. You will learn more about them soon.

This is a specimen from bruised tissue. There is a large blood vessel in the middle. The large clear cells are fat cells.

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Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences