Erythrocytes are responsible for transporting oxygen to tissue and are essential for the survival of almost all vertebrate animals. Circulating erythrocyte counts are tightly regulated and respond to erythrocyte mass and oxygen tension. Since the discovery of erythropoietin, the erythropoietic responses to environment and tissue oxygen tension have been investigated in mice and human. Moreover, it has recently become increasingly clear that various environmental stresses could induce the erythropoiesis via various modulating systems, while all vertebrates live in various environments and habitually adapt to environmental stress. Therefore, it is considered that investigations of erythropoiesis in vertebrates provide a lead to the various erythropoietic responses to environmental stress. This paper comparatively introduces the present understanding of erythropoiesis in vertebrates. Indeed, there is a wide range of variations in vertebrates' erythropoiesis. This paper also focused on erythropoietic responses to environmental stress, hypoxia, and lowered temperature in vertebrates.
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