1.2 Explain the role of plasma and haemoglobin in the transport of metabolites.
Plasma is the often forgotten component of blood. White blood cells, red blood cells and platelets are essential to body function, but plasma also plays a crucial and mostly unrecognised role carrying these blood components throughout the body as the fluid in which they travel. Plasma is the largest component of the human blood, making up about fifty percent of its overall content. When isolated on its ...view middle of the document...
The primary purpose of plasma is to transport nutrients, hormones and proteins to the parts of the body that need it. Cells also deposit their waste products into the plasma, and plasma in turn helps remove this waste from the body. An example of some of these substances that are transported by plasma is metabolites. Metabolites, in turn are any chemical compounds produced as a result of metabolism. Some of the products of metabolism are carbon dioxide, amino acids, glucose, squalene and urea. Blood plasma also ushers the movement of all the elements of blood through the circulatory system.
No organ in the body produces blood plasma but it is a product of several organs. As already stated, it consists of water, salts (electrolytes) and proteins (albumin and antibodies). All the water, salts and proteins are ultimately derived from the food we eat. Water and salts are regulated by the renal system. Albumin is produced by the liver and antibodies are a product of the immune system. There is also a balance of proteins and water within the vasculature (intravascular space) and without (extravascular space). There is always an influx or efflux balance between the tissues and the vasculature depending on the osmotic and mechanical pressure. This is all in one giant balance or homeostasis most of the time.