LivingBlood plasma: functions and composition

Blood plasma: functions and composition

Plasma is the liquid portion of the blood in which cells such as red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and cells called natural killers or NK cells are dispersed. It is a yellowish liquid, translucent and denser than water.

Blood plasma can be considered as a colloidal fluid in which, in the case of humans, water accounts for 91% of the mass, 7% or 8% of the plasma components are proteins, and the rest are it constitutes the sum of nutrients, trace elements, various metabolites, hormones and electrolytes.

  • Rheological function. The main function of blood plasma is to provide physical support to transport the cellular components of the blood and acellular components within it, so that they reach the last cell of the human body, exchange of gases and nutrients and return waste products to the bodies in charge of their management.
  • Immune function. Plasma is also decisive for the functioning of the immune system, since in its bosom there are, in addition to the different types of leukocytes, other essential components for the body such as immunoglobulins, some of which are antibodies and others are involved in inflammatory functions. defense against external aggressions.
  • Buffering of blood pH. Are dissolved in plasma or buffer buffer systems responsible for the blood maintains a barely unchanged stable pH. Otherwise, variations of a couple of tenths in blood pH would cause the death of the individual because they would be enough to deactivate various enzymes, thereby stopping their function according to the key-lock model.
  • Oncotic function. To maintain the volume or volume of the bloodstream.

The components of blood plasma that are not water are produced in different organs:

  • All plasma proteins are synthesized in the liver except immunoglobulins, which are produced by the so-called plasma cells or plasma cells .
  • Plasma cells are found mainly in the bone marrow, lymph nodes and spleen. The same blood, including plasma, carries the lymphocytes to the thymus so that they are matured and differentiated there.
  • The different endocrine glands produce the hormones that are released into the plasma to be transported and to carry out their functions where they correspond.
  • The kidneys are responsible for filtering some of the waste substances that the plasma carries, but also ensuring that the levels of sodium and potassium in the plasma and, therefore, in the blood, are adequate so that positive or negative extravasation does not occur. in excess.
  • Nutrients such as glucose or amino acids are absorbed in the intestines .

All organisms with blood have plasma, although its characteristics vary. Plasma is the rheological carrying support the erythrocyte or platelet, nutrients, hormones and elements of the immune system.

As we have seen, blood plasma in humans is mostly made up of water and can be separated from the cellular component of blood by centrifugation. Blood plasma accounts for 55% of the total volume of blood, so it also performs a volume control function so that the functioning of the body is not altered.

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