Role of the kidney in foetal erythropoiesis: erythropoiesis and erythropoietin levels in newborn mice with renal agenesis

Hågå, P.; Kristiansen, S.

Journal of Embryology and Experimental Morphology 61: 165-173


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0752
PMID: 7264539
Accession: 006354586

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The role of the kidney in fetal erythropoiesis was studied in newborn SD mice on the day of birth. Some of the homozygotes and heterozygotes of this strain are born anephric. Red cell production was evaluated by hematocrit levels, reticulocyte counts and Fe59-uptake in liver and RBC the isotope given to the mothers during pregnancy. Erythropoiesis of the newborn with renal agenesis was not different from that of animals with intact kidneys. When the mothers were exposed to hypoxia during pregnancy, significantly higher hematocrit- and reticulocyte levels were observed, and there was no difference in erythropoiesis of anephric newborn compared with newborn with intact kidneys. RBC production was also similar in those with and without kidneys when the mothers were hypertransfused. Plasma erythropoietin levels in the offspring of normal pregnancies were determined. Detectable concentrations of the hormone were found, and the levels were the same in anephric and normal newborn. Exposure to hypoxia (0.5 atm for 6 h) significantly increased plasma erythropoietin levels. This increase was of the same magnitude in animals with and without kidneys. Murine fetal erythropoiesis is probably regulated by erythropoietin in the same way as in later life. Since abolition of the erythropoiesis of the mothers through hypertransfusion, did not influence the red cell production of the fetuses, erythropoietin seems not to cross the placenta, and seems to be produced extrarenally during this period.