The effect of the hormone, erythropoietin, on cultures of erythroblasts derived from the livers of fetal C57BL/6J mice was examined. An increase both in the content and in the rate of synthesis of normal adult mouse globin chains was detected in hormone-treated cultures. The rate of protein synthesis by individual erythroblasts does not increase in response to the hormone, whereas the absolute number of hemoglobin-synthesizing cells does increase and accounts for the observed stimulation of hemoglobin synthesis. The principal effect of erythropoietin appears to be upon the population of immature erythroid precursor cells which persists in the presence of the hormone, the cells maintaining their ability to replicate, and their capacity to differentiate into hemoglobinizing erythroblasts. In the absence of hormone, already committed erythroblasts continue their development, but erythropoiesis is not sustained.

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