Change in water proton relaxation time during erythrocyte maturation

I. L. Cameron, H. C. Dung, K. E. Hunter, C. F. Hazlewood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Erythrocyte populations from newborn and mature mice were characterized according to: size; ultrastructural features; water content; concentration of intraerythrocyte elements including Na, Cl, K, P, S, Mg, and Fe; and the spin‐lattice (T1) and spin‐spin relaxation times of water protons as measured by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. A significant increase in the T2 time from 142 ± 3 msec to 184 ± 3 msec occurred during erythrocyte maturation. This change in T2 time was correlated with a change from a polyribosome‐rich hemoglobin‐poor cell type to a polyribosome‐absent hemoglobin‐rich cell type. The change in T2 time could also be correlated to a significantly higher K and P concentration in the mature erythrocytes. The change in T2 time was not correlated to a change in cellular water content or to the concentration of any of the other elements measured by electron probe X‐ray microanalysis. If the NMR relaxation times of water molecules truly reflect their average motional freedom, then the findings suggest that greater water ordering interaction occurs in the ribosome containing immature erythrocyte.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-414
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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