Proportion of fetal hemoglobin synthesis decreases during erythroid cell maturation.
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Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from pregnant and postpartum women were cultured in vitro with erythropoietin. Burst-forming unit (BFU-E)-derived erythroid colonies composed of immature erythroblasts with low hemoglobin contents were observed by day 8 of culture. By day 12 of culture, numerous BFU-E-derived erythroid colonies with high hemoglobin contents were present. The gamma/(gamma + beta) globin synthetic ratio was approximately 12% in the early cultures and 6% in the late cultures, indicating that the proportion of fetal hemoglobin synthesis decreases during erythroid cell maturation. These studies also reveal that the capacity fof fetal hemoglobin production by peripheral blood BFU-E in vitro is not altered during pregnancy.
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