Reference > Anatomy of the Human Body > Page 505
Henry Gray (1825–1861).  Anatomy of the Human Body.  1918.
hyaline cell. The third and fourth varieties together consitute from 20 to 30 per cent. of the colorless corpuscles, but of these two varieties the lymphocytes are by far the more numerous. Leucocytes having in their protoplasm granules which stain with basic dyes (basophil) have been described as occurring in human blood, but they are rarely found except in disease.
  The colorless corpuscles are very various in shape in living blood (Fig. 455), because many of them have the power of constantly changing their form by protruding finger-shaped or filamentous processes of their substance, by which they move and take up granules from the surrounding medium. In locomotion the corpuscle pushes out a process of its substance—a pseudopodium, as it is called—and then shifts the rest of the body into it. In the same way when any granule or particle comes in its way the corpuscle wraps a pseudopodium around it, and then withdraws the pseudopodium with the contained particle into its own substance. By means of these ameboid properties the cells have the power of wandering or emigrating from the bloodvessels by penetrating their walls and thus finding their way into the extravascular spaces. A chemical investigation of the protoplasm of the leucocytes shows the presence of nucleoprotein and of a globulin. The occurrence of small amounts of fat, lecithin, and glycogen may also be demonstrated.

FIG. 455– Human colorles blood corpuscle, showing its successive changes of outline within ten minutes when kept moist on a warm stage. (Schofield.) (See enlarged image)

  The blood platelets (Fig. 456) are discoid or irregularly shaped, colorless, refractile bodies, much smaller than the red corpuscles. Each contains a central chromatin mass resembling a nucleus. Blood platelets possess the power of ameboid movement. When blood is shed they rapidly disintegrate and form granular masses, setting free prothrombin and the substance called by Howell thromboplastin. It is doubtful whether they exist normally in circulating blood.

FIG. 456– Blood platelets. Highly magnified. (After Kopsch.) (See enlarged image)

3. Development of the Vascular System
  Bloodvessels first make their appearance in several scattered vascular areas which are developed simultaneously between the entoderm and the mesoderm of the yolk-sac, i. e., outside the body of the embryo. Here a new type of cell, the angioblast or vasoformative cell, is differentiated from the mesoderm. These cells as they divide form small, dense syncytial masses which soon join with similar masses by means of fine processes to form plexuses. These plexuses increase both by division and growth of its cells and by the addition of new angioblasts which differentiate from the mesoderm. Within these solid plexuses and also within the isolated masses of angioblasts vacuoles appear through liquefaction of the central part of the syncytium into plasma. The lumen of the bloodvessels thus formed is probably intracellular. The flattened cells at the periphery form the endothelium. The nucleated red blood corpuscles develop either from small masses of the original angioblast left attached to the inner wall of the lumen or directly from the flat endothelial cells. In either case the syncytial mass thus


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