This paper describes a method for determining the number of marrow erythroid and neutrophil cells in which the cellularity of marrow sections was related to that of the total marrow by radioiron dilution. Tissue sections were prepared from methacrylate-embedded dog marrow biopsies, and neutrophils were identified by staining of their primary granules. After correction of direct section counts for multiple counting error, accurate neutrophil-erythroid ratios were established with a coefficient of variation of less than 10 percent when 10-4 cells were examined. An average neutrophil-erythroid ratio of 1.2 was found in six normal dogs. The total number of nucleated red cells in the dog was 5.48 plus or minus 0.78 times 10-9/kg (plus or minus 1 SD), and the corresponding erythron iron turnover was 0.90 plus or minus 0.11 mg Fe/100 ml whole blood/day. The total number of marrow neutrophils, derived from the neutrophil-erythroid ratio, was 6.6 plus or minus 0.59 times 10-9 cells/kg, of which 1.4 were promyelocytes and myelocytes, 2.3 were metamyelocytes and bands, and 3.0 were segmented neutrophils. Leukopheresis studies were carried out in six dogs to confirm the accuracy of these cellular measurements. Marrow counts showed a mean decrease of 22.7 times 10-9 cells or 35 percent of the postmitotic neutrophil pool, and it was calculated that 10.2 times 10-9 additional cells had been taken from already circulating blood. This estimated deficit of 32.9 times 10-9 was almost identical to the 33 times 10-9 cells actually counted in the removed blood.
K A Deubeleiss, J T Dancey, L A Harker, B Cheney, C A Finch