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Thalassemic serum inhibits endothelial cell mitosis in vitro.

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Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand.


Human umbilical vein endothelial cells were cultured in vitro using Iscove's Modified Dulbecco's Medium (IMDM) supplemented with either pooled normal human serum, or pooled thalassemic serum, or autologous umbilical cord serum, or fetal bovine serum. The mitotic activity was determined under the inverted phase contrast microscope and the number of mitotic cells was counted. Our results showed that the mitotic cells decreased in endothelial cell culture with thalassemic serum as compared with normal human serum, autologous umbilical cord serum or fetal bovine serum. The percentage of mitotic cells decreased on day 3 in the presence of beta-thalassemia/HbE serum from both splenectomized and non-splenectomized patients as compared with normal or autologous umbilical cord serum. In the presence of alpha-thalassemic serum, a similar outcome was also observed. From this study we can conclude that the thalassemic sera might contain factors which affect the endothelial cell growth and proliferation by inhibiting mitosis in vitro.

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