A murine model for the switch from fetal to adult hemoglobin during ontogeny

B. P. Alter, S. C. Goff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


In murine erythroleukemia cells, the minor/major hemoglobin (Hb) ratio depends on the cell line and the inducing agent. To determine whether mouse minor hemoglobin is a 'fetal' hemoglobin in vivo, globin chain composition and synthesis rates were determined in DBA/2 mice of various ages ranging from 14-day embryos to >6-mo adults. Globin chains were separated by electrophoresis on polyacrylamide gels containing urea and Triton X-100. This method separates the embryonic (x,y,z) and the adult (α,βma,βmi) globin chains. Fourteen day embryos had only 5%-10% adult globins, but ~30% of the adult β chains were βmi. The % βmi decreased with age and reached 20% in adult mice. Biosynthetic studies led to more pronounced differences: βmi synthesis was 45% of total β chain production in 14-day embryos and declined to 22% in adults. Thus β minor/total β globin synthesis declines during mouse ontogeny. This resembles qualitatively the human switch from fetal to adult hemoglobin and provides a murine model for studies of hemoglobin regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1100-1105
Number of pages6
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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