THE demonstration of a biochemical distinction between adult and fœtal forms of hæmoglobin (hæmoglobins A and F) has stimulated interest in their physiology and biochemistry1. Little is known about the site of origin or conditions governing the production of these two hæmoglobins. It has been postulated that hæmoglobin A is synthesized in the bone marrow and that hæmoglobin F is produced principally in the liver and spleen2,3. This theory corresponds well with the known sites of red cell production in the fœtus and in the adult2. As a corollary, it has been proposed that hæmoglobin A and hæmoglobin F occur in separate red cells2,4. Anoxia has been thought to increase the production of hæmoglobin F4. This report presents a study of the synthesis of hæmoglobins A and F by hæmatopoietic tissue from two white human fœtuses aged 17 and 9 weeks.
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