The purpose of this study was to evaluate erythrokinetics and in vitro red blood cell (RBC) glucose utilization, 2,3-diphosphoglycerate production, and adenosine triphosphate levels following incubation in AKR mice from early in life until the onset of AKR lymphoma. Normal BALB/c mice served as controls. While hemoglobin concentration and RBC survival remained constant and similar in both groups of mice, the half disappearance time of injected radioactive 59Fe was longer and the 48-hr reappearance of 59Fe was less in AKR mice, compared with those of BALB/c mice. In vitro RBC metabolic studies indicated increased glucose utilization and 2,3-diphosphoglycerate production and decreased adenosine triphosphate levels following incubation in AKR RBC, in contrast to those in BALB/c RBC. RBC metabolic studies were also done in a small group of low leukemic C3H mice, and were similar to BALB/c mice. These differences became most marked in RBC from mice aged 15 to 30 weeks. Overt lymphoma began to occur after age 40 weeks. Hence, these erythropoietic changes occurred prior to the onset of lymphoma.

The data imply a direct effect of virus infection on RBC or their precursors. The results are similar to changes in RBC metabolism noted in Rauscher-infected BALB/c mice. The broader implication of these findings in reference to viral host interactions and human leukemogenesis is discussed.


Supported by USPHS Grant #CA 12586-01A1 from the National Cancer Institute, NIH. Abstract of this paper read before the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, San Diego, Calif., May 1975.

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