Thursday, August 27, 2015

Hemoglobin and erythropoiesis mnemonics

Hi everyone! Long time no see? :D

Today, I'll be sharing a few facts and mnemonics on hemoglobin and erythropoiesis. Let's get started!

Do you know the order in which hemoglobin appear from early embryo to infancy?
It's embryonic hemoglobin first (Gower 1, Gower 2, Portland) then fetal and after that, adult.
Mnemonic: Gower goes, fetal follows, adult afterwards. 
(Also, notice the reverse alphabetical order -  G, F, e, d, c, B, A)

The alphabets also pair the chains with their respective hemoglobin!
GF - Gamma Fetal
BA - Beta Adult

Gamma goes, becomes beta, is also a good way to remember the switch from fetal hemoglobin to adult hemoglobin. Alpha always.

Why fetal hemoglobin? Because the gamma fraction allows fetal Hb to have higher affinity of it for oxygen which allows it to extract oxygen from maternal blood.
Mnemonic: Fetal Fetches oxygen Fast.

Did you know the switch from fetal to adult hemoglobin occurs at 38 weeks of gestation in utero? Because I didn't! I always assumed it was 6 months of life, but that's when the switch is completed, it is initiated waaay before!

What else? Oh yes, the site of hematopoiesis!
Yolk sac (3-8 weeks)
Liver (6 weeks-birth)
Spleen and lymphatics (10-28 weeks)
Bone marrow (18 weeks to adult)
Mnemonic: Young Life Synthesizes Blood.

That's all!
"Noodles, don't noodles. You're too concerned with what was and what will be."


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