Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Haematol. 2002 Dec;119(4):1098-105.

Hydroxyurea exerts bi-modal dose-dependent effects on erythropoiesis in human cultured erythroid cells via distinct pathways.

Author information

The Molecular and Clinical Hematology Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


Hydroxyurea (HU) has been shown to increase the proportion of fetal haemoglobin (HbF) in most sickle cell patients. A low-dosage regimen increased total haemoglobin (Hb) levels in some thalassaemia intermedia patients by preferentially increasing beta-globin biosynthesis. To further characterize these apparent dose-dependent effects of HU, we examined erythroid cells exposed to HU (5-100 micro mol/l) in two-phase liquid culture. Low doses (from 5 to 25 micro mol/l) increased Hb levels by up to 2.7-fold, and a high dose (100 micro mol/l) increased Hb levels when added at d 3-6 of phase II, with no significant changes in response to HU during the late stage of phase II culture (> or = 9 d). HU exposure during d 0-3 of phase II culture increased the number of erythroid colonies to a maximum of fivefold at 5 micro mol/l HU. GATA-1 mRNA was downregulated at a high dose and GATA-2 was dose dependently upregulated over a lower dosage range. Treatment with 100 micro mol/l HU dramatically upregulated the death receptor DR-5, caspase 3, as determined by cDNA microarray analysis. In contrast, 10 micro mol/l HU modestly upregulated mRNA levels of the early growth response gene. Our results suggest that HU exerts concentration-dependent effects on HbF production and erythropoiesis and that these two effects are mediated by distinct molecular mechanisms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center