Bilirubin-14C production was measured in rats transfused with labeled erythrocytes from animals with iron deficiency anemia, a condition associated with ineffective erythropoiesis. With labeled reticulocytes harvested 1 day after the administration of glycine-2-14C, conversion of hemoglobin-14C to bilirubin averaged 47.3% over the 3 days of observation; the corresponding value for reticulocytes from normal rats was only 1.7%. Findings were not altered by splenectomy. Bilirubin-14C production fell to 35.8% with iron-deficient cells harvested 3 days after glycine-14C administration, and declined further to a plateau averaging 25% with cells labeled 5, 7, 10, or 15 days earlier. The latter values still far exceed those for mature erythrocytes from normal animals.
Stephen H. Robinson, Ellen Koeppel