SEM of Macrophage "Nurse Cell" and Immature Erythroblasts.

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Tuesday 04/04/2017

A large macrophage (cyan) functions as a normal 'nurse cell' providing maturation signals for six immature erythroblasts (yellow). During the final stages of maturation the erythroblasts will extrude their nucleus which the macrophage will consume, hence the name 'macro phage' or big eater. When stem cells are abnormal, for example in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), the macrophages that come from these stem cells are also abnormal and in some cases they fail to provide nurse cell function resulting in severe anemia.

SEM of MacrophageImage is courtesy of Eyayu Belay and Beverly Torok-Storb from Fred Hutch and colorized by Sharm Knecht.

This image was produced on the EM Resource's JEOL 6610LV scanning electron microscope. The cells were fixed with a combination of glutaraldehyde and paraformaldehyde, washed with buffer, post-fixed in osmium tetroxide, washed again, dehydrated with a graded series of ethanol, and dried for SEM with HMDS. For more specific details or how to work up your sample please call the EM Resource at 206-667-4289 or the Electron Microscopy Procedures Manual.

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Rajesh K. Uthamanthil, DVM, PhD, DACLAM

Associate Vice President, Shared Resources
Director, Comparative Medicine