Carp erythrocytes were fractionated by angle-head centrifugation which yielded fractions with a linear increase in density. Haematological examinations revealed that the heavier red blood cells of carp had greater volumes (MCV), more haemoglobin (MCH) and higher haemoglobin concentrations (MCHC) than light ones. The same experiments with human red cell fractions yielded a decrease in MCV, constant MCH and an increase in MCHC. Haemoglobin content in individual erythrocytes was also determined by scanning stage absorbance cytophotometry to establish the frequency distribution of the cellular haemoglobin contents. In carp, the distribution was symmetrical with the means increasing with density. No such change with cell density was found in human erythrocytes. Both carp and human erythrocytes incorporated [2-14C]glycine in vitro. After gel filtration, radioactivity was detected in carp, but not in human, haemoglobin fractions. 14C was found in all three haemoglobin fractions, obtained by isoelectric focusing, and was present in the haem and in the globin. [2-14C]glycine-labelled erythrocytes were reinjected into chronically cannulated carp and followed in vivo for several months. With time, the main peak of scintillation counts shifted from red cell fractions of low to high density. This is considered as evidence that density and age of red cells in carp are positively correlated and that erythrocytes can synthesize haemoglobin while circulating in the peripheral blood.

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