Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne White Blood Cells Oxygen Source

Name: Meg
Status: student
Grade: 6-8
Location: KY
Country: USA
Date: Winter 2011-2012

All cells need oxygen. That is a common fact. So then where do white blood cells get theirs?

The oxygen for white blood cells comes from the blood, just as it does for other tissues. Oxygen is transported from the lungs to red blood cells, and as the red blood cells move through the blood, they supply the white blood cells with oxygen. br>
Diffusion is the primary mechanism that drives this oxygen transport -- as the white blood cell converts O2 to CO2, it establishes a concentration gradient between the blood (high O2) and the interior of the white blood cell (low O2). This concentration gradient drives oxygent transport.

Hope this helps, Burr

Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory