Imbalanced globin chain synthesis determines erythroid cell pathology in thalassemic mice

Kanitta Srinoun, Saovaros Svasti, Worrakavee Chumworathayee, Jim Vadolas, Phantip Vattanaviboon, Suthat Fucharoen, Pranee Winichagoon Fucharoen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Background: β-thalassemia occurs from the imbalanced globin chain synthesis due to the absence or inadequate β-globin chain production. The excessive unbound α-globin chains precipitate in erythroid precursors and mature red blood cells leading to ineffective erythropoiesis and hemolysis. Design and Methods: In vitro globin chain synthesis in reticulocytes from different types of thalassemic mice was performed. The effect of imbalanced globin chain synthesis was assessed from changes of red blood cell properties including increased numbers of red blood cells vesicles and apoptotic red blood cells, increased reactive oxygen species and decreased red blood cell survival. Results: The α/β-globin chain ratio in βIVSII-654- thalassemic mice, 1.26±0.03, was significantly higher than that of wild type mice, 0.96±0.05. The thalassemic mice show abnormal hematologic data and defective red blood cell properties. These values were improved significantly in doubly heterozygous thalassemic mice harboring 4 copies of human βE-globin transgene, with a more balanced globin chain synthesis, 0.92±0.05. Moreover, transgenic mice harboring 8 extra copies of the human βE-globin transgene showed inversely imbalanced α/β-globin synthesis ratio, 0.83±0.01, that resulted in a mild β-thalassemia phenotype due to the excessive β-globin chains. The degree of ineffective erythropoiesis also correlated with the degree of imbalanced globin chain synthesis. Bone marrow and splenic erythroid precursor cells of βIVSII-654-thalassemic mice showed increased phosphatidylserine exposure in basophilic and polychromatophilic stages, which was restored to the normal level in doubly heterozygous mice. Conclusions: Imbalanced α/β-globin chain as a consequence of either reduction or enhancement of β-globin chain synthesis can cause abnormal red blood cell properties in mouse models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1211-1219
Number of pages9
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Globin chain synthesis
  • Ineffective erythropoiesis
  • Thalassemia
  • Transgenic mice

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