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Mammalian Reticulocytes Lose Adhesion to Fibronectin during Maturation to Erythrocytes

Vikram P. Patel, Aaron Ciechanover, Orah Platt and Harvey F. Lodish
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 82, No. 2 (Jan. 15, 1985), pp. 440-444
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24646
Page Count: 5
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Mammalian Reticulocytes Lose Adhesion to Fibronectin during Maturation to Erythrocytes
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Abstract

We describe three situations in which a large fraction of circulating red blood cells attach tightly and specifically to fibronectin: (i) rabbits made anemic by repeated bleeding, (ii) patients with hemolytic anemia and functional asplenia and splenectomized normal humans, and (iii) splenectomized mice. Upon induction of anemia in rabbits, the proportion of circulating red blood cells capable of specifically attaching to fibronectin-coated plastic increased in parallel with the number of reticulocytes. Fibronectin-adherent red cells were barely detectable when the rabbit had recovered from the anemia. Attachment of reticulocytes to fibronectin was specific; cells did not attach to dishes coated with albumin, laminin, or collagen. None of these proteins promoted the attachment of normal erythrocytes. About 75% of the erythrocytes from splenectomized mice (but not control mice) also attached specifically to fibronectin 40 days after surgery. The effect of splenectomy was incomplete and transient; adherent cells were not detectable 8 weeks after splenectomy. As judged by labeling studies with [35S]methionine, newly emergent reticulocytes preferentially attached to fibronectin. We suggest that about half of the reticulocytes in erythropoietically unstressed mice lose their ability to attach to fibronectin, possibly due to loss of fibronectin-adhesive components, during passage through the spleen. The others lose their ability to interact with fibronectin before release, in the bone marrow, or in some extrasplenic site.

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