sheep erythrocytes

Beverly Erlebacher bae at
Thu Apr 18 13:22:49 EST 1996

In article <4l4bm8$brq at> bridges at writes:
>In article <4ku48r$2e2 at kralle.zdv.Uni-Mainz.DE>, "Soeren G. Gatermann" <gaterman at> writes...
>>is there anyone who knows the major differences in membrane composition 
>>of sheep and human red cells. I shall appriciate any help.
>>- Soeren
>The membranes of sheep erythrocytes differ from those of humans in a number of 
>interesting ways. Sheep erythrocytes shed sections of membrane that include 
>segments of cytoskeleton as well as intrinsic membrane proteins, such as the 
>transferrin receptor. Human erythrocytes do the same, but less dramatically so. 
>You may want to look up the publications of Rose Johnstone, in Montreal. She 
>did a lot of the early work on transferrin receptor shedding by sheep 

About 30 years ago there was a not-very-good diagnostic test for 
mononucleosis that involved mixing a sample of the patient's serum
with sheep erythrocytes.  I think the test was positive if the sheep
cells clumped.

I've occasionally wondered what the rationale was for this test, and 
if it was totally empirical, how was the effect discovered.  Does anyone
have any info on this?

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