, Volume 87, Issue 12, pp 1025-1026
Date: 25 Jun 2008

Immature reticulocytes and its relevance to thrombosis

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Dear Editor,

There is increasing evidence that impaired blood flow and vasoocclusion observed in sickle cell disease is due to the increased adhesive nature of the sickle red cells. Among the red cell series, the reticulocytes have been studied in detail to understand this peculiar nature of stickiness to the vascular endothelium. However, it is not often taken into account that this property is more characteristic of the “immature” reticulocytes, rather than the entire reticulocyte or red cell population.

In healthy state, the reticulocytes interact with the bone marrow with the help of fibronectin and their release into the circulation is associated with the loss of the fibronectin adhesive property [1]. In hemolytic diseases, large number of immature reticulocytes is released into the circulation during the episodes of severe hemolysis. These “stress” reticulocytes do not lose their fibronectin receptors immediately and reach the spleen where these bind to the monocyte–macrophage syst