The process of expulsion of the nucleus during the transformation of the late erythroblast to reticulocyte is described. Erythroid clones taken from the spleen of lethally irradiated mice transplanted with syngeneic bone marrow were used. 10–12-day old isolated clones were fixed in glutaraldehyde, then in osmium tetroxide. Ultra-thin sections were stained with uranyl acetate and/or lead citrate before examination. Late (orthochromatic) erythroblasts develop pseudopod-like cytoplasmic protrusions into one of which the nucleus gradually penetrates, being deformed by the extrusion through the relatively narrow passage. During the whole process, mitochondria and vesicular and membranous elements are concentrated in the cytoplasm. Once outside the cell, the nucleus reassumes its rounded form. It is surrounded by a narrow rim of cytoplasm and structurally altered plasma membrane and is connected to the rest of the cell by a bridge. Elongated vacuoles appear within this bridge, with a resulting release of the enveloped nucleus which is soon phagocytized by macrophages; this leaves behind the newly formed reticulocyte. During this process, the cytoplasmic protrusions, the agglomeration of mitochondria, and the mode of separation of the nucleus from the rest of the cell are similar to those occurring in mitotic division.

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