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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1979 Apr 18;584(1):76-83.

Transferrin receptors during rabbit reticulocyte maturation.


Experiments were performed to examine the fate of transferrin receptors in reticulocytes as these cells mature in vivo to erythrocytes. Reticulocytosis, synchronized by administration of actinomycin D, was induced in adult rabbits. Simultaneous measurements were made of haematological parameters and the interaction between transferrin and reticulocytes while the cells matured in vivo to erythrocytes. As the reticulocytes matured there was a parallel decline in their ability to take up transferrin and transferrin iron. At the same time, there was a proportionate decrease in the density of receptors for transferrin on the reticulocyte surface. The affinity of the receptors for transferrin remained unaltered during the maturation process. It was concluded that the inability of erythrocytes to take up transferrin or its iron is due primarily to the loss of transferrin receptors from the maturing reticulocyte surface.

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