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a. Rubriblast. (See figure 4-1, Erythrocytes series, a through f).

Figure 4-1a. Erythrocytes series: Rubriblast.

(1) .Size Fourteen to 19 microns in diameter.
(2) Nucleus. This cell has a large round-to-oval purple nucleus that occupies most of the cell. The nuclear chromatin is arranged in a close mesh network forming a reticular appearance. There are 0-2 light blue nucleoli present within the nucleus.
(3) Cytoplasm. The cytoplasm is dark blue, granule-free, and limited to a thin rim around the nucleus. There is no evidence of hemoglobin formation.

b. Prorubricyte.

Figure 4-1b. Erythrocytes series: Prorubricyte.

(1) Size. Ten to 15 microns in diameter.
(2) Nucleus. The nucleus is generally round, dark purple, am smaller than the nucleus of the rubriblast. The chromatin is coarse am clumped giving the nucleus a darker stain. Nucleoli are usually not present, but when they are, they appear more prominent than in the rubriblast.
(3) Cytoplasm. The cytoplasm is royal blue and more radiant than in the rubriblast. Cytoplasmic granules are not present.

c. Rubricyte.

Figure 4-1c. Erythrocytes series: Rubricyte.

(1) Size. Eight to 14 microns in diameter.
(2) Nucleus. The nucleus is dark, round or oval, and smaller than the prorubricyte nucleus. The chromatin material is found in dense, irregular clumps. Nucleoli are not present.
(3) Cytoplasm. The cytoplasm is more abundant than in the precursor cells. It is blue-pink (polychromatic), the pink resulting from the first visible appearance of hemoglobin. Cytoplasmic granules are absent.

d. Metarubricyte.

Figure 4-1d. Erythrocytes series: Metrarubricyte.

(1) Size. Seven to 10 microns in diameter.
(2) Nucleus. This cell has a pyknotic nucleus (a homogeneous blue-black mass with no structure) that is round. This is the main difference between the rubricyte and the metarubricyte.
(3) Cytoplasm. The cytoplasm is abundant, bluish-buff to buff pink.

e. Reticulocyte (diffusely basophilic erythrocyte).

Figure 4-1e. Erythrocytes series: Reticulocyte.

(1) Size. Seven to 9 microns in diameter.
(2) Nucleus. The nucleus is absent.
(3) Cytoplasm. The cytoplasm stains a bluish-buff with Wright’s stain and there is no central light pallor as in the erythrocyte. With supravital staining, this cell will show light blue reticulum strands in the cytoplasm.

f. Erythrocyte.

Figure 4-1f. Erythrocytes series: Erythrocyte.

(1) Size. Six to 8 microns in diameter.
(2) Nucleus. The nucleus is absent.
(3) Cytoplasm. The cytoplasm of the periphery is light orange with a central zone of pallor. The appearance of the central zone of pallor is due to the biconcave morphology of the cell, which allows more light through the center than through the margin areas.

Curriculum design: David L. Heiserman
Publisher: SweetHaven Publishing Services

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