Terminal erythroid differentiation occurs in the bone marrow, within specialized niches termed erythroblastic islands. These functional units consist of a macrophage surrounded by differentiating erythroblasts and have been described more than five decades ago, but their function in the pathophysiology of erythropoiesis has remained unclear until recently. Here we propose that the central macrophage in the erythroblastic island contributes to the pathophysiology of anemia of inflammation. After introducing erythropoiesis and the interactions between the erythroblasts and the central macrophage within the erythroblastic islands, we will discuss the immunophenotypic characterization of this specific subpopulation of macrophages. We will then integrate these concepts into the currently known pathophysiological drivers of anemia of inflammation and address the role of the central macrophage in this disorder. Finally, as a means of furthering our understanding of the various concepts, we will discuss the differences between murine and rat models with regard to developmental and stress erythropoiesis in an attempt to define a model system representative of human pathophysiology.
Faculty; SOM Student
School of Medicine