20 Difference Between Red Blood Cells and White Blood Cells (With Table)

Blood is a fluid connective tissue that plays a vital role in the body. It forms a channel where nutrients, defense mechanisms, and waste are distributed in the body.

The main components of blood are platelets, red blood cells, white blood cells, and plasma. According to research, plasma consists of 55% of human blood in the body.

So, what is the main difference between red blood cells and white blood cells? The former helps in the transfer of oxygen to various body parts while the latter defends the body against germ attacks.

This article provides further differences between red and white blood cells in a tabular form. Take the time to read through it and learn more about their similarities at the end.

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Comparison Table (Red Blood Cells vs White Blood Cells)

Basic Terms Red Blood Cells White Blood Cells
Alternative name Erythrocytes Leukocytes
Physical Appearance Anucleated with bi-concave disc-shaped Nucleated with irregular in shape
Size 6-8 micron 15 microns
Production Bone marrow Lymph node
Number in Cubic mm of Blood 5 million 3000-7000
Formation Formed by Erythropoiesis Formed by Leucopoiesis
Presence in Blood About 36-50% of blood About 1%
Motility Non-motile Motile
Lifespan Shorter lifespan of about 120 days Longer lifespan depending on your health.
Types One type Neutrophils






Components Hemoglobin Antibodies with MHC antigen cell markers.
Color Red in color due to the presence of hemoglobin Colorless due to the absence of hemoglobin.
Circulatory System Cardiovascular system Lymphatic and cardiovascular system.
Nucleus Absent Present
Rouleaux formation Form stack or aggregation No rouleaux formation
Related disorders Anemia, thalassemia, polycythemia vera, etc. Lymphoma, Leukemia, Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS)
Movement type Do not leave the blood vessels Usually leave the capillaries and move into the tissues
Number increment Due to exercise or while at a high altitude. Due to infection
Ill Effect Low count causes anemia Low count compromised the immune system.
Function Carry oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other waste products. Produce antibodies to work against infection by boosting immunity.

What Are White Blood Cells?

Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to different parts of the body. The blood cells are also known as erythrocytes.

The hemoglobin iron-rich protein is the reason behind the red color blood due to combination with the oxygen. Mature human beings have small, round and biconcave shape red blood cells.

These blood cells are enclosed with a membrane that contains protein and lipids. The cell lacks a nucleus and other organelles to provide adequate space for hemoglobin.

Red blood cells are developed in the bone marrow. Normal human beings produce 2.4 million red blood cells within a second and circulate in the body for 120days.

The primary function of red blood cells is to transport oxygen to other body parts and carry carbon dioxide and other waste to the lungs for excretion.

What Are Red Blood Cells?

White blood cells offer protection to the body against infectious agents. These blood cells are also known as leucocytes or leukocytes or white corpuscles.

The blood cells have a colorless pigment due to a lack of hemoglobin. White blood cells are present in the lymphatic and circulatory systems.

These blood cells come from hematopoietic stem cells of the bone marrow. These cells also are motile and lack a nucleus. The cells work by digesting foreign materials and destroy infectious agents.

The main types of white blood cells are Neutrophils, Monocytes, Lymphocytes, Basophils, and Eosinophils. The fluctuation of white blood cell counts affects the body in different ways.

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Differences between Red Blood Cells and White Blood Cells

  1. Red blood cells lack a nucleus. White blood cells have a nucleus.
  2. Red blood cells are red in color. White blood cells have colorless pigment.
  3. Red blood cells transport oxygen to various parts. White blood cells provide protection to the body against infectious agents.
  4. Red blood cells are small, round, and biconcave in shape. White blood cells are large with irregular shapes.
  5. Red blood cells are formed by Erythropoiesis. White blood cells are formed by Leucopoiesis.
  6. Red blood cells are non-motile. White blood cells are motile.
  7. Red blood cells develop in the bone marrow. White blood cells are produced in the lymph node.
  8. Red blood cells have a shorter lifespan. White blood cells have a longer lifespan.
  9. Red blood cells circulate through the cardiovascular system. White blood cells circulate in the lymphatic and cardiovascular systems.
  10. Red blood cells occur in large numbers. White blood cells are relatively less in number.

Similarities between Red Blood Cells and White Blood Cells

  1. Both come from multipotent cells of the bone marrow.
  2. Both have cell membranes.
  3. Both have a high surface area to volume ratio
  4. Both experience fluctuations that cause a great impact on the body.

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In Conclusion

Proper red blood cells count in the body is quite important. These cells help distribute oxygen to various parts of the body with ease. The nourishment and removal of wastes prevent the buildup of toxic substances.

White blood cells guarantee maximum protection against infectious agents invading the body. Proper white blood cells count matters a lot when it comes to immune stability.

The main difference between red and white blood cells is that red blood cells transport oxygens to various tissues in the body while white blood cells provide protection against infectious agents invading the body.

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