40.2E: Plasma and Serum - Biology

40.2E: Plasma and Serum - Biology

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Plasma is the liquid component of blood after all of the cells and platelets are removed; serum is plasma after coagulation factors have been removed.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the structure and function of plasma and serum

Key Points

  • Plasma, the liquid component of blood, comprises 55 percent of the total blood volume.
  • Plasma is composed of 90 percent water with antibodies, coagulation factors, and other substances such as electrolytes, lipids, and proteins required for maintaining the body.
  • The removal of coagulation factors from plasma leaves a fluid similar to interstitial fluid, known as serum.
  • Albumin, a protein produced in the liver, comprises about one-half of the blood serum proteins; it functions to maintain osmotic pressures and to transport hormones and fatty acids.
  • Immunoglobin is a protein antibody produced in the mucosal lining; it plays an important role in antibody mediated immunity.

Key Terms

  • interstitial fluid: a solution found in tissue spaces that inundates and moistens cells in multicellular animals
  • electrolyte: any of the various ions (such as sodium or chloride) that regulate the electric charge on cells and the flow of water across their membranes
  • viscosity: a quantity expressing the magnitude of internal friction in a fluid, as measured by the force per unit area resisting uniform flow

Plasma and Serum

Plasma, the liquid component of blood, comprises 55 percent of the total blood volume. It can separated by artificially spinning or centrifuging the blood at high rotations of 3000 rpm or higher. The blood cells and platelets that make up about 45 percent of the blood are separated by centrifugal forces to the bottom of a specimen tube, leaving the plasma as the upper layer. Plasma consists of 90 percent water along with various substances required for maintaining the body’s pH, osmotic load, and for protecting the body. The plasma also contains the coagulation factors and antibodies.

Serum, the plasma component of blood which lacks coagulation factors, is similar to interstitial fluid in which the correct composition of key ions acting as electrolytes is essential for normal functioning of muscles and nerves. Other components in the serum include proteins, which assist with maintaining pH and osmotic balance while giving viscosity to the blood; antibodies, or specialized proteins that are important for defense against viruses and bacteria; lipids, including cholesterol, which are transported in the serum; and various other substances including nutrients, hormones, metabolic waste, and external substances, such as drugs, viruses, and bacteria.

Human serum albumin, the most abundant protein in human blood plasma, is synthesized in the liver. Albumin, which constitutes about one-half of the blood serum protein, transports hormones and fatty acids, buffers pH, and maintains osmotic pressures. Immunoglobin, a protein antibody produced in the mucosal lining, plays an important role in antibody mediated immunity.

42.3 Antibodies

By the end of this section, you will be able to do the following:

  • Explain cross-reactivity
  • Describe the structure and function of antibodies
  • Discuss antibody production

An antibody , also known as an immunoglobulin (Ig), is a protein that is produced by plasma cells after stimulation by an antigen. Antibodies are the functional basis of humoral immunity. Antibodies occur in the blood, in gastric and mucus secretions, and in breast milk. Antibodies in these bodily fluids can bind pathogens and mark them for destruction by phagocytes before they can infect cells.

Antibody Structure

An antibody molecule is comprised of four polypeptides: two identical heavy chains (large peptide units) that are partially bound to each other in a “Y” formation, which are flanked by two identical light chains (small peptide units), as illustrated in Figure 42.22. Bonds between the cysteine amino acids in the antibody molecule attach the polypeptides to each other. The areas where the antigen is recognized on the antibody are variable domains and the antibody base is composed of constant domains.

In germ-line B cells, the variable region of the light chain gene has 40 variable (V) and five joining (J) segments. An enzyme called DNA recombinase randomly excises most of these segments out of the gene, and splices one V segment to one J segment. During RNA processing, all but one V and J segment are spliced out. Recombination and splicing may result in over 10 6 possible VJ combinations. As a result, each differentiated B cell in the human body typically has a unique variable chain. The constant domain, which does not bind antibody, is the same for all antibodies.

Similar to TCRs and BCRs, antibody diversity is produced by the mutation and recombination of approximately 300 different gene segments encoding the light and heavy chain variable domains in precursor cells that are destined to become B cells. The variable domains from the heavy and light chains interact to form the binding site through which an antibody can bind a specific epitope on an antigen. The numbers of repeated constant domains in Ig classes are the same for all antibodies corresponding to a specific class. Antibodies are structurally similar to the extracellular component of the BCRs, and B cell maturation to plasma cells can be visualized in simple terms as the cell acquires the ability to secrete the extracellular portion of its BCR in large quantities.

Antibody Classes

Antibodies can be divided into five classes—IgM, IgG, IgA, IgD, IgE—based on their physiochemical, structural, and immunological properties. IgGs, which make up about 80 percent of all antibodies, have heavy chains that consist of one variable domain and three identical constant domains. IgA and IgD also have three constant domains per heavy chain, whereas IgM and IgE each have four constant domains per heavy chain. The variable domain determines binding specificity and the constant domain of the heavy chain determines the immunological mechanism of action of the corresponding antibody class. It is possible for two antibodies to have the same binding specificities but be in different classes and, therefore, to be involved in different functions.

After an adaptive defense is produced against a pathogen, typically plasma cells first secrete IgM into the blood. BCRs on naïve B cells are of the IgM class and occasionally IgD class. IgM molecules make up approximately ten percent of all antibodies. Prior to antibody secretion, plasma cells assemble IgM molecules into pentamers (five individual antibodies) linked by a joining (J) chain, as shown in Figure 42.23. The pentamer arrangement means that these macromolecules can bind ten identical antigens. However, IgM molecules released early in the adaptive immune response do not bind to antigens as stably as IgGs, which are one of the possible types of antibodies secreted in large quantities upon reexposure to the same pathogen. Figure 42.23 summarizes the properties of immunoglobulins and illustrates their basic structures.

IgAs populate the saliva, tears, breast milk, and mucus secretions of the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and genitourinary tracts. Collectively, these bodily fluids coat and protect the extensive mucosa (4000 square feet in humans). The total number of IgA molecules in these bodily secretions is greater than the number of IgG molecules in the blood serum. A small amount of IgA is also secreted into the serum in monomeric form. Conversely, some IgM is secreted into bodily fluids of the mucosa. Similar to IgM, IgA molecules are secreted as polymeric structures linked with a J chain. However, IgAs are secreted mostly as dimeric molecules, not pentamers.

IgE is present in the serum in small quantities and is best characterized in its role as an allergy mediator. IgD is also present in small quantities. Similar to IgM, BCRs of the IgD class are found on the surface of naïve B cells. This class supports antigen recognition and maturation of B cells to plasma cells.

Antibody Functions

Differentiated plasma cells are crucial players in the humoral response, and the antibodies they secrete are particularly significant against extracellular pathogens and toxins. Antibodies circulate freely and act independently of plasma cells. Antibodies can be transferred from one individual to another to temporarily protect against infectious disease. For instance, a person who has recently produced a successful immune response against a particular disease agent can donate blood to a nonimmune recipient and confer temporary immunity through antibodies in the donor’s blood serum. This phenomenon is called passive immunity it also occurs naturally during breastfeeding, which makes breastfed infants highly resistant to infections during the first few months of life.

Antibodies coat extracellular pathogens and neutralize them, as illustrated in Figure 42.24, by blocking key sites on the pathogen that enhance their infectivity (such as receptors that “dock” pathogens on host cells). Antibody neutralization can prevent pathogens from entering and infecting host cells, as opposed to the CTL-mediated approach of killing cells that are already infected to prevent progression of an established infection. The neutralized antibody-coated pathogens can then be filtered by the spleen and eliminated in urine or feces.

Antibodies also mark pathogens for destruction by phagocytic cells, such as macrophages or neutrophils, because phagocytic cells are highly attracted to macromolecules complexed with antibodies. Phagocytic enhancement by antibodies is called opsonization. In a process called complement fixation, IgM and IgG in serum bind to antigens and provide docking sites onto which sequential complement proteins can bind. The combination of antibodies and complement enhances opsonization even further and promotes rapid clearing of pathogens.

Affinity, Avidity, and Cross Reactivity

Not all antibodies bind with the same strength, specificity, and stability. In fact, antibodies exhibit different affinities (attraction) depending on the molecular complementarity between antigen and antibody molecules, as illustrated in Figure 42.25. An antibody with a higher affinity for a particular antigen would bind more strongly and stably, and thus would be expected to present a more challenging defense against the pathogen corresponding to the specific antigen.

The term avidity describes binding by antibody classes that are secreted as joined, multivalent structures (such as IgM and IgA). Although avidity measures the strength of binding, just as affinity does, the avidity is not simply the sum of the affinities of the antibodies in a multimeric structure. The avidity depends on the number of identical binding sites on the antigen being detected, as well as other physical and chemical factors. Typically, multimeric antibodies, such as pentameric IgM, are classified as having lower affinity than monomeric antibodies, but high avidity. Essentially, the fact that multimeric antibodies can bind many antigens simultaneously balances their slightly lower binding strength for each antibody/antigen interaction.

Antibodies secreted after binding to one epitope on an antigen may exhibit cross reactivity for the same or similar epitopes on different antigens. Because an epitope corresponds to such a small region (the surface area of about four to six amino acids), it is possible for different macromolecules to exhibit the same molecular identities and orientations over short regions. Cross reactivity describes when an antibody binds not to the antigen that elicited its synthesis and secretion, but to a different antigen.

Cross reactivity can be beneficial if an individual develops immunity to several related pathogens despite having only been exposed to or vaccinated against one of them. For instance, antibody cross reactivity may occur against the similar surface structures of various Gram-negative bacteria. Conversely, antibodies raised against pathogenic molecular components that resemble self molecules may incorrectly mark host cells for destruction and cause autoimmune damage. Patients who develop systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) commonly exhibit antibodies that react with their own DNA. These antibodies may have been initially raised against the nucleic acid of microorganisms but later cross-reacted with self-antigens. This phenomenon is also called molecular mimicry.

Antibodies of the Mucosal Immune System

Antibodies synthesized by the mucosal immune system include IgA and IgM. Activated B cells differentiate into mucosal plasma cells that synthesize and secrete dimeric IgA, and to a lesser extent, pentameric IgM. Secreted IgA is abundant in tears, saliva, breast milk, and in secretions of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts. Antibody secretion results in a local humoral response at epithelial surfaces and prevents infection of the mucosa by binding and neutralizing pathogens.

Serum vs. Vaccine

A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins. The agent stimulates the body's immune system to recognize the agent as a threat, destroy it, and to further recognize and destroy any of the microorganisms associated with that agent that it may encounter in the future. Vaccines can be prophylactic (example: to prevent or ameliorate the effects of a future infection by a natural or "wild" pathogen), or therapeutic (e.g., vaccines against cancer are being investigated).

The administration of vaccines is called vaccination. Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases widespread immunity due to vaccination is largely responsible for the worldwide eradication of smallpox and the restriction of diseases such as polio, measles, and tetanus from much of the world. The effectiveness of vaccination has been widely studied and verified for example, the influenza vaccine, the HPV vaccine, and the chicken pox vaccine. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that licensed vaccines are currently available for twenty-five different preventable infections.

The terms vaccine and vaccination are derived from Variolae vaccinae (smallpox of the cow), the term devised by Edward Jenner to denote cowpox. He used it in 1798 in the long title of his Inquiry into the Variolae vaccinae known as the Cow Pox, in which he described the protective effect of cowpox against smallpox. In 1881, to honor Jenner, Louis Pasteur proposed that the terms should be extended to cover the new protective inoculations then being developed.

The clear yellowish liquid obtained upon separating whole blood into its solid and liquid components after it has been allowed to clot. Also called blood serum.

Blood serum from the tissues of immunized animals, containing antibodies and used to transfer immunity to another individual, called antiserum.

A watery liquid from animal tissue, especially one that moistens the surface of serous membranes or that is exuded by such membranes when they become inflamed, such as in edema or a blister.

The watery portion of certain animal fluids, as blood, milk, etc whey.

An intensive moisturising product to be applied after cleansing but before a general moisturiser.

A substance given to stimulate the body's production of antibodies and provide immunity against a disease without causing the disease itself in the treatment, prepared from the agent that causes the disease, or a synthetic substitute.

Practice of Toxicologic Pathology

Sodium, Chloride, and Potassium (Electrolytes)

Serum or plasma electrolyte concentrations are the net result of intake, excretion (mainly alimentary and renal), and shifts between intra- and extracellular fluids. Shifts can occur in vivo or in vitro. Electrolyte concentrations in serum/plasma essentially represent concentrations in all extracellular fluid. Sodium (Na + ) is the major cation in serum or plasma, and its concentration is controlled in concert with regulation of blood volume and plasma osmolality. Potassium (K + ) is the major intracellular cation, and is maintained within narrow limits because of its critical role in neuromuscular and cardiac excitability.

Serum potassium is a relatively poor indicator of total body potassium because of shifts between intra- and extracellular compartments. Serum potassium concentration should be interpreted with consideration of the acid–base status and potential variations in total body potassium concentration status. For example, increased serum potassium may occur with acidosis due to exchange of extracellular fluid (ECF) hydrogen ions for intracellular potassium ions.

Chloride (Cl − ) is the major anion in serum. Extracellular chloride concentration is influenced by extracellular concentrations of sodium and bicarbonate (HCO3 − ) and therefore interpretation of serum chloride concentration requires knowledge of serum sodium concentration and consideration of acid–base status.

Serum/plasma electrolyte concentrations must be interpreted with knowledge of the animal’s hydration status and consideration of the extracellular volume. While reference ranges for electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and chloride) are fairly wide, the range of results in a well-controlled study is generally quite narrow. Often the reasons for small, statistically significant differences in these parameters between treated groups and controls in toxicity studies are not apparent.

The Role of Nonsteroidal Regulators in Control of Oocyte and Follicular Maturation

B Childhood through Puberty. Restraint of FSH Secretion during Maturation of Endocrine Function of the Reproductive System

During childhood, serum gonadotropins are suppressed ( Lee et al., 1970 Winter et al., 1975 ) to levels far below the range of baseline values of the menstrual cycle ( Ross et al., 1970 ). From published profiles of serum gonadotropins, the serum FSH: LH ratio during this time has been variously reported to be in the range of the menstrual cycle, i.e., less than unity ( Faiman and Winter, 1974 Winter et al., 1975 Beck and Wattken, 1980), or greater than unity ( Yen et al., 1969 Yen and Vicic, 1970 Penney et al., 1974 Lee et al., 1970 ). In prepubertal monkeys ( Dierschke et al., 1974 ), serum gonadotropins are apparently also below baseline menstrual cycle levels. Low circulating gonadotropins are maintained until the premenarcheal period of puberty when serum LH and FSH rise ( Sizonenko et al., 1970 Lee et al., 1970 , 1976 ) to the baseline levels of the menstrual cycle ( Ross et al., 1970 ). The onset of the pubertal rise in serum gonadotropins has been reported to be fairly consistently associated with the thelarche ( Lee et al., 1976 ). However, by serially monitoring serum FSH it has been reported that increased FSH secretion may appear in prepubertal girls in the form of a circadian rhythm which is characterized by a nocturnal increase in circulating FSH ( Lee et al., 1976 , 1978 Beck and Wuttke, 1980 ).

The current paradigm for maturation of endocrine function of the human female reproductive system ( Grumbach et al., 1974 Forest et al., 1976 ) holds that the reduced serum gonadotropins observed in childhood derive from an ovarian inhibition of LH and FSH secretion which is superimposed on a reduced functional capacity of the hypothalamo-pituitary complex. The capability of the ovary to restrain gonadotropin secretion, despite minimal steroid output, has been ascribed to increased sensitivity of the gonadostat mechanism to feedback signals originating in the ovary. (However, it has not yet been established by physiological experiments that steroids can provide adequate restraint of gonadotropin secretion prior to adulthood.) The pubertal changes in gonadotropin secretion have been hypothesized to derive from eventual acquisition of adult competency of the hypothalamo-pituitary complex and the ovary. Maturation of the neuroendocrine control of gonadotropin secretion is said to include a decline in sensitivity of the gonadostat and, in the last (postmenarcheal) phase of maturation, activation of the positive feedback mechanism which controls the cyclic discharge of gonadotropins that is characteristic of the menstrual cycle.

The role of inhibin-F in FSH secretion control before adulthood has not been studied in the primate. It has been shown that castrate infant monkeys respond to injection of charcoal-treated porcine follicular fluid with a selective suppression of serum FSH ( Channing et al., 1981a ), suggesting that inhibin-F may act before adulthood to restrain FSH secretion. It is possible that the maturation of the gonadostat also involves changes in the sensitivity to inhibin-F feedback. An alternative speculation is discussed in the next section.

Chapter Summary

The innate immune system serves as a first responder to pathogenic threats that bypass natural physical and chemical barriers of the body. Using a combination of cellular and molecular attacks, the innate immune system identifies the nature of a pathogen and responds with inflammation, phagocytosis, cytokine release, destruction by NK cells, and/or a complement system. When innate mechanisms are insufficient to clear an infection, the adaptive immune response is informed and mobilized.

42.2 Adaptive Immune Response

The adaptive immune response is a slower-acting, longer-lasting, and more specific response than the innate response. However, the adaptive response requires information from the innate immune system to function. APCs display antigens via MHC molecules to complementary naïve T cells. In response, the T cells differentiate and proliferate, becoming TH cells or CTLs. TH cells stimulate B cells that have engulfed and presented pathogen-derived antigens. B cells differentiate into plasma cells that secrete antibodies, whereas CTLs induce apoptosis in intracellularly infected or cancerous cells. Memory cells persist after a primary exposure to a pathogen. If reexposure occurs, memory cells differentiate into effector cells without input from the innate immune system. The mucosal immune system is largely independent from the systemic immune system but functions in a parallel fashion to protect the extensive mucosal surfaces of the body.

42.3 Antibodies

Antibodies (immunoglobulins) are the molecules secreted from plasma cells that mediate the humoral immune response. There are five antibody classes an antibody's class determines its mechanism of action and production site but does not control its binding specificity. Antibodies bind antigens via variable domains and can either neutralize pathogens or mark them for phagocytosis or activate the complement cascade.

42.4 Disruptions in the Immune System

Immune disruptions may involve insufficient immune responses or inappropriate immune targets. Immunodeficiency increases an individual's susceptibility to infections and cancers. Hypersensitivities are misdirected responses either to harmless foreign particles, as in the case of allergies, or to host factors, as in the case of autoimmunity. Reactions to self components may be the result of molecular mimicry.

Biology chapter 6

A. are derived from the same original stem cell.

D. have mitochondria and other organelles.

A. neutrophils and basophils

B. lymphocytes and monocytes

C. eosinophils and monocytes

D. monocytes and neutrophils

B. megakaryocyte breakdown.

C. increase erythrocyte production.

B. infectious mononucleosis

A. It is caused by an Epstein-Barr virus.

B. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands.

C. There is uncontrolled white blood cell proliferation.

D. Active EBV can be passed in saliva.

2. Eosinophils: use granular contents to digest large pathogens, such as worms, and reduce inflammation.

3. Basophils: promote blood flow to injured tissues and the inflammatory response.

4. Lymphocytes: responsible for specific immunity. B cells produce antibodies T cells destroy cancer and virus- infected cells.

2. Platelets and damaged tissue release prothrombin activator, which initiates a cascade of enzymatic reactions.

3. Prothrombin activator converts prothrombin into thrombin.

4. Thrombin severs two amino acid chains from fibrinogen.

5. The activated fragments form the fibrin thread.

6. Fibrin winds around the platelet plug providing a framework for the clot.

A. Formed elements and plasma would not remain in the blood.

B. Red blood cells would increase in concentration.
C. The Ca2+ concentration in the blood would increase.
D. The blood pressure of the individuals would increase.


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Plasma, also called blood plasma, the liquid portion of blood. Plasma serves as a transport medium for delivering nutrients to the cells of the various organs of the body and for transporting waste products derived from cellular metabolism to the kidneys, liver, and lungs for excretion. It is also a transport system for blood cells, and it plays a critical role in maintaining normal blood pressure. Plasma helps to distribute heat throughout the body and to maintain homeostasis, or biological stability, including acid-base balance in the blood and body.

Plasma is derived when all the blood cells—red blood cells (erythrocytes), white blood cells (leukocytes), and platelets (thrombocytes)—are separated from whole blood. The remaining straw-coloured fluid is 90–92 percent water, but it contains critical solutes necessary for sustaining health and life. Important constituents include electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, magnesium, and calcium. In addition, there are trace amounts of other substances, including amino acids, vitamins, organic acids, pigments, and enzymes. Hormones such as insulin, corticosteroids, and thyroxine are secreted into the blood by the endocrine system. Plasma concentrations of hormones must be carefully regulated for good health. Nitrogenous wastes (e.g., urea and creatinine) transported to the kidney for excretion increase markedly with renal failure.

Plasma contains 6–8 percent proteins. One critical group is the coagulation proteins and their inhibitors, synthesized primarily in the liver. When blood clotting is activated, fibrinogen circulating in the blood is converted to fibrin, which in turn helps to form a stable blood clot at the site of vascular disruption. Coagulation inhibitor proteins help to prevent abnormal coagulation (hypercoagulability) and to resolve clots after they are formed. When plasma is allowed to clot, fibrinogen converts to fibrin, trapping the cellular elements of blood. The resulting liquid, devoid of cells and fibrinogen, is called serum. Biochemical testing of plasma and serum is an important part of modern clinical diagnosis and treatment monitoring. High or low concentrations of glucose in the plasma or serum help to confirm serious disorders such as diabetes mellitus and hypoglycemia. Substances secreted into the plasma by cancers may indicate an occult malignancy for instance, an increased concentration of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in a middle-aged asymptomatic man may indicate undiagnosed prostate cancer.

Serum albumin, another protein synthesized by the liver, constitutes approximately 60 percent of all of the plasma proteins. It is very important in maintaining osmotic pressure in the blood vessels it is also an important carrier protein for a number of substances, including hormones. Other proteins called alpha and beta globulins transport lipids such as cholesterol as well as steroid hormones, sugar, and iron.

The gamma globulins, or immunoglobulins, are an important class of proteins that are secreted by B lymphocytes of the immune system. They include most of the body’s supply of protective antibodies produced in response to specific viral or bacterial antigens. Cytokines are proteins synthesized by cells of various organs and by cells found in the immune system and bone marrow in order to maintain normal blood cell formation (hematopoiesis) and regulate inflammation. For example, one cytokine called erythropoietin, synthesized by specialized kidney cells, stimulates bone marrow blood progenitor cells to produce red blood cells. Other cytokines stimulate the production of white blood cells and platelets. Another protein system in the plasma, called complement, is important in mediating appropriate immune and inflammatory responses to a variety of infectious agents.

The electrolytes and acid-base system found in the plasma are finely regulated. For example, potassium is normally present in plasma in a concentration of only 4 milliequivalents per litre. A slight rise in plasma potassium (to 6–7 milliequivalents per litre) can result in death. Likewise, sodium, chloride, bicarbonate, calcium, and magnesium levels in the plasma must be precisely maintained within a narrow range. Smaller molecules such as sodium, potassium, glucose, and calcium are primarily responsible for the concentration of dissolved particles in the plasma. However, it is the concentration of much larger proteins (especially albumin) on either side of semipermeable membranes such as the endothelial cells lining the capillaries that creates crucial pressure gradients necessary to maintain the correct amount of water within the intravascular compartment and, therefore, to regulate the volume of circulating blood. So, for example, patients who have kidney dysfunction or low plasma protein concentrations (especially low albumin) may develop a migration of water from the vascular space into the tissue spaces, causing edema (swelling) and congestion in the extremities and vital organs, including the lungs.

Finding the perfect plasma TV is easier than you may think. If youre like most people, your flat-screen TV is the centerpiece of your living room or family room. It sits in all its glory on a TV stand or hangs on the wall ready for all to gaze upon it. When dealing with a device that is so pivotal to your living space, its important to choose the right one. Luckily, there are numerous plasma TVs available on eBay from a variety of sellers.

Why Should I Choose Panasonic?

While there are many television companies to choose from, one reliable and reputable brand is Panasonic.

  • Panasonic is a Japanese electronics manufacturer headquartered in Osaka that provides electronic devices and accessories to every corner of the world
  • Founded in 1918 and incorporated in 1935, Panasonic has decades of experience improving the manufacturing process.
  • There are around 500 consolidated companies that are a part of Panasonic Corporation.

What Are the Pros And Cons of a Plasma TV?

When deciding which HDTV display to purchase, the first decision you face is whether to buy a plasma or an LCD TV.

  • Plasma televisions have deeper blacks than LCD TV panels can produce, meaning that they have a stronger contrast ratio than their LCD counterparts.
  • The viewing angle for plasma TVs is generally far wider than LCD TVs, meaning that multiple people will experience the same video quality from different seating positions around the room.
  • While LCD TVs can often suffer from motion blur, plasma options are able to quickly shut up the necessary pixels at the correct times to prevent motion blur, producing smoother video quality.

Which Model Should I Purchase?

When deciding which Panasonic plasma television to buy, there are a few different factors to consider.

  • The main consideration is screen size. Models that are closer to 40 inches suit smaller rooms, while TVs closer to 50 inches are better for living rooms or places with multiple viewers. Consider the room size and the distance between viewers and the television when deciding which screen size is right for you.
  • Consider the various strengths of each particular model. For example, the Panasonic TC-P60VT60 has some of the best black levels around, while another model, the Panasonic TC-P55ST60, offers eye-pleasing 3D viewing angles superior to other similar models.
  • Another key consideration is the various features of the TV in question. Does it have solid Wi-Fi connectivity like the Panasonic TC-P55ST60? Does it offer THX picture settings and a gaming mode like the Panasonic TC-P60VT60? Choose the features you think you will need, like a sufficient number of HDMI inputs, and find a TV that offers those features.

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by Panasonic.

Some people choose plasma TVs for their entertainment setup in dark rooms because they are known for brightness and high-contrast ratios. Several brand manufacturers that offer 40- to 49-inch plasma screen TVs include LG, Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic.

What is a plasma TV?

A plasma TV features a plasma display panel (PDP). Plasma is a collection of small cells that have electrically charged ionized gases. This type of display is most frequently used for screens 30 inches and larger. Plasma displays are bright and have a wide color gamut. The brightness is 1,000 lux or higher. The screens are usually made of glass. Contrast ratios can be as high as 4,000:1. Because of subfield drive technology, plasma electronics have little to no motion lag.

What are possible features of these TVs?

Many of these televisions have virtual surround sound, which is an audio system that creates the perception of more sounds than actuality. Some offer sharp pictures through higher resolution known as high-definition (HD). Some have headphone jacks, so you can listen to the audio without disturbing others in the room. Other possible features are the widescreen mode, closed captions, and sleep timers. TVs equipped with widescreen mode let you choose the aspect ratio. Closed captions transcribe the audio as subtitles in real time. Some support multiple languages like Spanish and French in addition to English.

What are the common specifications youll find?

Common specifications include:

  • Resolutions of 853x480, 1,366x768, and 1,920x1,080
  • Aspect ratios of 14:9, 4:3, and 16:9
  • Wide viewing angles of 169 degrees
  • A weight of between 42 and 82 pounds
  • Contrast ratios of 500:1
  • Ethernet port
  • Wi-Fi capability
  • Multiple HDMI ports

When you have an understanding of the terminology, you can find the right plasma TV. Picture quality is influenced by upscaling and downscaling algorithms and the video scaling processor. Some plasma TVs are also labeled as HD, which has to do with the TV screens resolution. Understand that there is more than one contrast ratio test. Two of the most widely used tests are the ANSI standard and the full-on/full-off test.

You already know the display size youre looking for, so the next factors to clarify are the minimum resolution youre willing to consider, aspect ratio, contrast ratio, and sound system. Do you want built-in speakers or will you hook up a sound bar? Are there any extra features important to you like 3D capability, Wi-Fi connectivity, headphone jacks, or closed captions? Answering these questions will help you find the right model.

Content provided for informational purposes only. eBay is not affiliated with or endorsed by any of the brands mentioned.