Manganese superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) is a critical component of the mitochondrial pathway for detoxification of O2(-), and targeted disruption of this locus leads to embryonic or neonatal lethality in mice. To follow the effects of SOD2 deficiency in cells over a longer time course, we created hematopoietic chimeras in which all blood cells are derived from fetal liver stem cells of Sod2 knockout, heterozygous, or wild-type littermates. Stem cells of each genotype efficiently rescued hematopoiesis and allowed long-term survival of lethally irradiated host animals. Peripheral blood analysis of leukocyte populations revealed no differences in reconstitution kinetics of T cells, B cells, or myeloid cells when comparing Sod2(+/+), Sod2(-/-), and Sod2(+/-) fetal liver recipients. However, animals receiving Sod2(-/-) cells were persistently anemic, with findings suggestive of a hemolytic process. Loss of SOD2 in erythroid progenitor cells results in enhanced protein oxidative damage, altered membrane deformation, and reduced survival of red cells. Treatment of anemic animals with Euk-8, a catalytic antioxidant with both SOD and catalase activities, significantly corrected this oxidative stress-induced condition. Such therapy may prove useful in treatment of human disorders such as sideroblastic anemia, which SOD2 deficiency most closely resembles.