A Howell–Jolly body (marked by arrow) within an erythrocyte
Howell–Jolly bodies are histopathological findings of basophilic nuclear remnants (clusters of DNA) in circulating erythrocytes. During maturation in the bone marrow late erythroblasts normally expel their nuclei, but in some cases a small portion of DNA remains. Its presence usually signifies a damaged spleen.
Howell–Jolly bodies: small, round inclusions seen in erythrocytes (peripheral blood – MGG stain)
This DNA appears as a basophilic (purple) spot on the otherwise eosinophilic (pink) erythrocyte on a standard H&E stained blood smear. These inclusions are normally removed by the spleen during erythrocyte circulation, but will persist in individuals with functional hyposplenia or asplenia.