While the morphology of the various formed elements of the blood is now on a fairly scientific basis, there remains considerable lack of knowledge in regard to the origin and function of these cells. It is a matter of common agreement that the red cells are formed in the bone-marrow in adults and in the liver and spleen in embryos, while the origin of platelets is still in doubt. The polymorphonuclear leukocytes come originally from bone-marrow; the lymphocytes are derived from lymph glands and from tissue, and the large mononuclears have either the same origin as lymphocytes, or develop from endothelial cells lining blood or lymph vessels.
Not all the functions of these cells have been elucidated, although the evidence indicates that the red cells are concerned chiefly in tissue respiration, or the carriage of oxygen to the tissues; while the blood platelets are apparently involved in the phenomena of
BRISTOL LD. THE RELATION OF THE LYMPHOCYTE TO CANCER. JAMA. 1919;72(15):1048–1050. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610150006003
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