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Cells Tissues Organs. 2012;196(6):555-64. doi: 10.1159/000338336. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

Hepatic extramedullary hematopoiesis and macrophages in the adult mouse: histometrical and immunohistochemical studies.

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Department of Anatomy, Kawasaki Medical School, Kurashiki, Japan. ysonoda @


Fetal liver hematopoiesis in mice disappears approximately 2 weeks after birth; however, under experimental acute anemia extramedullary hematopoiesis occurs in the livers of adult mice. The hematopoietic foci in the liver during extramedullary hematopoiesis contain erythroblasts and macrophages. In this study, the extent of involvement of macrophages in the development and involutional process of the hematopoietic foci in adult mice livers was clarified by experimentally inducing extramedullary hematopoiesis. Hematopoietic cells appeared in the livers 2 days after phenylhydrazine (PHZ) injections. The number and area of the foci increased rapidly, reaching peak values on the sixth day. F4/80-positive macrophages were observed in the sinusoids as well as the hematopoietic foci, and were tightly surrounded by erythroblasts. Sinusoidal macrophages in normal adult livers were positive for F4/80 but negative for ER-HR3. However, in extramedullary hematopoiesis-induced livers, sinusoidal macrophages became positive for ER-HR3 antibodies. The number of ER-HR3-positive macrophages was 9.2 ± 2.9/mm(2) on the second day after PHZ was administered, and increased to 200.3 ± 4.2/mm(2) on the sixth day. On the seventh day after the PHZ injections, the number decreased and they were no longer detected at 30 days after PHZ was injected. The present study revealed that erythroblasts accumulate around sinusoidal macrophages to form an erythroblastic island with a central macrophage similar to erythropoiesis in the fetal liver. Furthermore, in line with development and regression of extramedullary hematopoiesis, macrophages express ER-HR3, a hematopoiesis related antigen.

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