Fetal hemoglobin-containing cells have the same mean corpuscular hemoglobin as cells without fetal hemoglobin: A reciprocal relationship between gamma- and beta-globin gene expression in normal subjects and in those with high fetal hemoglobin production

G. J. Dover, S. H. Boyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We have developed methodology that allows comparison of the mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) of fetal hemoglobin (HbF)-containing red cells (F cells) with the MCH of non-F cells from the same individual. To do this, suspensions of peripheral blood erythrocytes and their internal contents are fixed with an imidodiester, dimethyl-3,3'-dithiobispropionimidate dihydrochloride (DTBP). Thereafter fixed cells are made permeable to antisera by treatment with Triton X-100 and isopropanol, reacted with a mouse monoclonal antibody (MoAb) against HbF, and then with fluorescein-conjugated antimouse IgG. No appreciable hemoglobin is lost during such manipulation. Red cells from a diversity of subjects were thus treated and examined microscopically, first by transmitted light and then by epifluorescence. A direct correlation between Coulter-derived MCH and mean absorbance of 415 nm transmitted light was found for 100 unfixed (r = 0.96) and for 100 antibody-treated fixed-permeabilized red cells (r 0.99) among individuals selected so as to provide a range of Coulter MCH values between 20 and 35. Comparisons of microscopically derived MCH of F cells and non-F cells were statistically nondistinguishable (P > 0.05) in all subjects. Such comparisons included normal individuals (less than 1% F cells), SS patients (7% to 48% F cells), subjects with congenital anemia (22% to 65% F cells), individuals with heterocellular hereditary persistence of HbF (HPFH) (12% to 21% F cells), and heterozygotes for beta+ thalassemia (11% to 31% F cells). We conclude that gamma- and beta-globin production within F cells is regulated in a reciprocal fashion both among normal individuals and among individuals with elevated HbF production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1113
Number of pages5
JournalBlood
Volume69
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology

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