Heterogeneity in the properties of burst-forming units of erythroid lineage in sickle cell anemia: DNA synthesis and burst-promoting activity production is related to peripheral hemoglobin F levels

H. Croizat, H. H. Billett, R. L. Nagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations


Circulating 14-day erythroid progenitors (BFU-E) from 28 sickle cell anemia (SS) patients with hemoglobin F (HbF) levels ranging from 2% to 16% were studied to determine their sensitivity to [3H] thymidine kill and burst-promoting activity (BPA)-like factor production. We find that the proportion of BFU-E sensitive to 3H-dT kill, and hence active in DNA synthesis, was inversely correlated with the percent of peripheral HbF when light density (LD) mononuclear cells were used for plating. Regression analysis showed that the correlation between HbF level and BFU-E kill was highly significant (r = .88; P < .00003). We confirmed the BPA-like factor(s) production by LD mononuclear cells of SS patients, and found, in addition, that this phenomenon is restricted to the population of SS patients with HbF levels lower than 9%. Circulating BFU-E of patients with high HbF levels are not sensitive to 3H-dT, and their mononuclear cells do not release BPA-like factor. In summary, SS patients exhibit differences in the capacity of their mononuclear cells to produce BPA activity according to their peripheral HbF level, as well as to the DNA synthesis-state of their circulating BFU-E. We conclude that erythroid progenitors differ among SS patients in relation to their peripheral HbF level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1006-1010
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology

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