Cell Fusion pp 457-478 | Cite as

Microinjection of Culture Cells via Fusion with Loaded Erythrocytes

  • Robert A. Schlegel
  • Michael R. Lieber


Because of its relative simplicity, the non-nucleated mammalian erythrocyte has often served as a paradigm for study of more complex eukaryotic cells. About 10 years ago, studies of the erythrocyte membrane and investigations employing erythrocytes as models for understanding cell fusion converged, resulting in the technique referred to as erythrocyte-mediated microinjection. The seminal studies of Seeman (1967) indicated that mac-romolecules could enter and be trapped inside erythrocytes whose membrane integrity was reversibly interrupted by a hypotonic shock treatment. Loyter and colleagues (Peretz et al., 1974) then described conditions under which erythrocytes could be fused with one another by Sendai virus without losing their membrane integrity, so that intracellular mac-romolecules were retained. Under these same sorts of conditions hemoglobin could be transferred from erythrocytes to nucleated eukaryotic cells to which they were fused (Zakai et al., 1974; Furusawa et al., 1974). Finally, these findings on loading of erythrocytes with exogenous mac-romolecules and fusion of such carriers to recipient cells were combined to afford an efficient method for introducing macromolecules into eu-karyotic cells (Schlegel and Rechsteiner, 1975; Loyter et al., 1975; Nishimura et al., 1976).


Erythrocyte Membrane Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching Sendai Virus Erythrocyte Ghost Human Erythrocyte Membrane 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Schlegel
    • 1
  • Michael R. Lieber
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Molecular and Cell BiologyPennsylvania State UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of PathologyNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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