Mouse bone marrow and peripheral blood erythroid cell counts are regulated by different autosomal genetic loci

Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2007 Mar-Apr;38(2):69-77. doi: 10.1016/j.bcmd.2006.10.009. Epub 2006 Dec 20.


Erythropoiesis is under fine control and genetic loci that affect it are likely to be important in a range of conditions. To assess the relative contributions of different genetic loci to parameters of erythropoiesis, we have measured RBC counts in the peripheral circulation and committed erythroid cells (RBC and small normoblasts) in the bone marrow in a cohort of (CBA/H x C57BL/6) F2 mice to map quantitative trait loci (QTL). Candidate genes were assessed using bioinformatics and DNA sequencing. Different autosomal loci affect bone marrow (chromosomes 5, 11 and 19) and peripheral blood (chromosome 4) erythroid cell counts but there may be a common chromosome X locus. Spleen weight QTL were found on chromosomes 3, 15 and 17. Surprisingly, erythropoietin (Epo) is the best candidate quantitative trait gene (QTG) in the chromosome 5 locus that affects bone marrow but not peripheral blood erythroid cell counts. Epo gene expression is known to be genetically regulated in mice, but our data suggest a tissue-specific role for epo in mouse erythropoiesis that is also genetically determined. The identity of the other QTG will be important both to further knowledge of the control of erythropoiesis and as potential modifier genes for haematological disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Cells / cytology
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Chromosomes, Mammalian
  • Erythrocyte Count
  • Erythroid Cells / cytology*
  • Erythropoiesis / genetics*
  • Erythropoietin / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Organ Size / genetics
  • Quantitative Trait Loci / physiology*
  • Spleen / physiology


  • Erythropoietin