Erythroid progenitors have the potential to proliferate rapidly in response to environmental stimuli. This process is referred to as stress erythropoiesis, with erythropoietin (EPO) playing central roles in its promotion. In this study, we wanted to elucidate the molecular mechanisms governing the regulation of stress erythropoiesis and the maintenance of red-cell homeostasis. This was achieved by our development of a noninvasive real-time monitoring system for erythropoiesis using transgenic mouse lines expressing luciferase under the control of the mouse Gata1 hematopoietic regulatory domain (G1-HRD-luc) or human β-globin locus control region (Hbb-LCR-luc). Optical bioluminescence images revealed that the luciferase was specifically expressed in spleen and bone marrow and was induced rapidly in response to anemia and hypoxia stimuli. The G1-HRD-luc activity tracked the emergence and disappearance of proerythroblast-stage progenitors, whereas the Hbb-LCR-luc activity tracked erythroblasts and later stage erythroid cells. Increased plasma EPO concentration preceded an increase in G1-HRD-luc, supporting our contention that EPO acts as the key upstream signal in stress erythropoiesis. Hence, we conclude that G1-HRD-luc and Hbb-LCR-luc reporters are differentially activated during stress erythropoiesis and that the transgenic mouse lines used serve as an important means for understanding the homeostatic regulation of erythropoiesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology