Enucleation of primitive erythroid cells generates a transient population of "pyrenocytes" in the mammalian fetus

University of Rochester Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, Center for Pediatric Biomedical Research, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.
Blood (Impact Factor: 10.45). 03/2008; 111(4):2409-17. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2007-08-107581
Source: PubMed


Enucleation is the hallmark of erythropoiesis in mammals. Previously, we determined that yolk sac-derived primitive erythroblasts mature in the bloodstream and enucleate between embryonic day (E)14.5 and E16.5 of mouse gestation. While definitive erythroblasts enucleate by nuclear extrusion, generating reticulocytes and small, nucleated cells with a thin rim of cytoplasm ("pyrenocytes"), it is unclear by what mechanism primitive erythroblasts enucleate. Immunohistochemical examination of fetal blood revealed primitive pyrenocytes that were confirmed by multispectral imaging flow cytometry to constitute a distinct, transient cell population. The frequency of primitive erythroblasts was higher in the liver than the bloodstream, suggesting that they enucleate in the liver, a possibility supported by their proximity to liver macrophages and the isolation of erythroblast islands containing primitive erythroblasts. Furthermore, primitive erythroblasts can reconstitute erythroblast islands in vitro by attaching to fetal liver-derived macrophages, an association mediated in part by alpha4 integrin. Late-stage primitive erythroblasts fail to enucleate in vitro unless cocultured with macrophage cells. Our studies indicate that primitive erythroblasts enucleate by nuclear extrusion to generate erythrocytes and pyrenocytes and suggest this occurs in the fetal liver in association with macrophages. Continued studies comparing primitive and definitive erythropoiesis will lead to an improved understanding of terminal erythroid maturation.

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Available from: James Palis, Aug 29, 2014
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    • "Erythroblastic islands have been described during primitive erythropoiesis as well. Even though erythroblasts in the yolk sac do not require a specialized microenvironment for development, they attach closely to structures highly similar to erythroblastic islands (McGrath et al., 2008). Moreover, erythroblastic islands have been reported in other sites for definitive erythropoiesis such as fetal liver and splenic red pulp (Manwani and Bieker, 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Macrophages tightly control the production and clearance of red blood cells (RBC). During steady state hematopoiesis, approximately 10(10) RBC are produced per hour within erythroblastic islands in humans. In these erythroblastic islands, resident bone marrow macrophages provide erythroblasts with interactions that are essential for erythroid development. New evidence suggests that not only under homeostasis but also under stress conditions, macrophages play an important role in promoting erythropoiesis. Once RBC have matured, these cells remain in circulation for about 120 days. At the end of their life span, RBC are cleared by macrophages residing in the spleen and the liver. Current theories about the removal of senescent RBC and the essential role of macrophages will be discussed as well as the role of macrophages in facilitating the removal of damaged cellular content from the RBC. In this review we will provide an overview on the role of macrophages in the regulation of RBC production, maintenance and clearance. In addition, we will discuss the interactions between these two cell types during transfer of immune complexes and pathogens from RBC to macrophages.
    Frontiers in Physiology 01/2014; 5:9. DOI:10.3389/fphys.2014.00009 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    • "These findings have been confirmed in mice containing a GFP transgene driven by the human ε-globin promoter to identify primitive erythroid cells (Fraser et al., 2007). A transient population of primitive pyrenocytes was also detected during this time period in the fetal circulation of mice (McGrath et al., 2008b). Importantly, the total number of primitive erythroid cells does not decrease between E12.5 and E16.5, consistent with the cessation of cell division in late-stage primitive erythroblasts and the enucleation of the entire population of primitive erythroid cells (Kingsley et al., 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: Red blood cells (RBCs), which constitute the most abundant cell type in the body, come in two distinct flavors- primitive and definitive. Definitive RBCs in mammals circulate as smaller, anucleate cells during fetal and postnatal life, while primitive RBCs circulate transiently in the early embryo as large, nucleated cells before ultimately enucleating. Both cell types are formed from lineage-committed progenitors that generate a series of morphologically identifiable precursors that enucleate to form mature RBCs. While definitive erythroid precursors mature extravascularly in the fetal liver and postnatal marrow in association with macrophage cells, primitive erythroid precursors mature as a semi-synchronous cohort in the embryonic bloodstream. While the cytoskeletal network is critical for the maintenance of cell shape and the deformability of definitive RBCs, little is known about the components and function of the cytoskeleton in primitive erythroblasts. Erythropoietin (EPO) is a critical regulator of late-stage definitive, but not primitive, erythroid progenitor survival. However, recent studies indicate that EPO regulates multiple aspects of terminal maturation of primitive murine and human erythroid precursors, including cell survival, proliferation, and the rate of terminal maturation. Primitive and definitive erythropoiesis share central transcriptional regulators, including Gata1 and Klf1, but are also characterized by the differential expression and function of other regulators, including myb, Sox6, and Bcl11A. Flow cytometry-based methodologies, developed to purify murine and human stage-specific erythroid precursors, have enabled comparative global gene expression studies and are providing new insights into the biology of erythroid maturation.
    Frontiers in Physiology 01/2014; 5:3. DOI:10.3389/fphys.2014.00003 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    • "For example, in the study on primitive erythropoiesis, the expelled nuclei presented mixed phenotype according to annexin V binding (49% 7AAD−AnnexinV−, 35% 7AAD−AnnexinV+) [17]. Keeping in mind that enucleation involves dynamic changes, resulting in heterogeneous phenotype of expelled nuclei [17], it is justifiable to suppose that expelled nuclei may only transiently show the SKL CD45−CD105+ or Lin−Sca-1+CD45− characteristics. Nevertheless, our results suggest that those populations isolated from the bone marrow may be contaminated with remnants of erythropoiesis. "
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    ABSTRACT: Murine very small embryonic-like (VSEL) cells, defined by the Lin(-)Sca-1(+)CD45(-) phenotype and small size, were described as pluripotent cells and proposed to be the most primitive hematopoietic precursors in adult bone marrow. Although their isolation and potential application rely entirely on flow cytometry, the immunophenotype of VSELs has not been extensively characterized. Our aim was to analyze the possible heterogeneity of Lin(-)Sca(+)CD45(-) population and investigate the extent to which VSELs characteristics may overlap with that of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) or endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). The study evidenced that murine Lin(-)Sca-1(+)CD45(-) population was heterogeneous in terms of c-Kit and KDR expression. Accordingly, the c-Kit(+)KDR(-), c-Kit(-)KDR(+), and c-Kit(-)KDR(-) subpopulations could be distinguished, while c-Kit(+)KDR(+) events were very rare. The c-Kit(+)KDR(-) subset contained almost solely small cells, meeting the size criterion of VSELs, in contrast to relatively bigger c-Kit(-)KDR(+) cells. The c-Kit(-)KDR(-)FSC(low) subset was highly enriched in Annexin V-positive, apoptotic cells, hence omitted from further analysis. Importantly, using qRT-PCR, we evidenced lack of Oct-4A and Oct-4B mRNA expression either in whole adult murine bone marrow or in the sorted of Lin(-)Sca-1(+)CD45(-)FSC(low) population, even by single-cell qRT-PCR. We also found that the Lin(-)Sca-1(+)CD45(-)c-Kit(+) subset did not exhibit hematopoietic potential in a single cell-derived colony in vitro assay, although it comprised the Sca-1(+)c-Kit(+)Lin(-) (SKL) CD34(-)CD45(-)CD105(+) cells, expressing particular HSC markers. Co-culture of Lin(-)Sca-1(+)CD45(-)FSC(low) with OP9 cells did not induce hematopoietic potential. Further investigation revealed that SKL CD45(-)CD105(+) subset consisted of early apoptotic cells with fragmented chromatin, and could be contaminated with nuclei expelled from erythroblasts. Concluding, murine bone marrow Lin(-)Sca-1(+)CD45(-)FSC(low) cells are heterogeneous population, which do not express the pluripotency marker Oct-4A. Despite expression of some hematopoietic markers by a Lin(-)Sca-1(+)CD45(-)c-Kit(+)KDR(-) subset of VSELs, they do not display hematopoietic potential in a clonogenic assay and are enriched in early apoptotic cells.
    PLoS ONE 05/2013; 8(5):e63329. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0063329 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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