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Br J Haematol. 1998 Dec;103(4):942-9.

Dyserythropoiesis and severe anaemia associated with malaria correlate with deficient interleukin-12 production.

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McGill Centre for Study of Host Resistance, Montreal General Hospital Research Institute, Quebec, Canada.


Complex cytokine interactions occur during blood-stage malaria which offer a unique opportunity to study their influence on the pathogenesis of malarial anaemia. Plasmodium chabaudi AS susceptible A/J mice experience severe and fatal anaemia whereas resistant C57BL/6 (B6) mice survive following moderate anaemia. In this study we analysed the role of IL-12 in erythropoiesis and tested whether the levels of IL-12 produced in these mice correlated with the extent of anaemia. In vitro, IL-12 significantly enhanced the numbers of erythroid burst (BFU-E) and colony forming units (CFU-E) in bone marrow and spleen cells from normal and day 7 infected A/J and B6 mice. Despite the presence of IL-12 in vitro, the level of splenic erythropoiesis in infected A/J mice was significantly lower than in B6 mice. Moreover, sera from infected B6 mice, but not A/J mice, significantly up-regulated erythropoiesis in vitro and this enhancement correlated with several fold higher levels of IL-12 in the sera of B6 compared to A/J mice. Furthermore, the erythropoietic potentiating effect of sera from infected B6 mice was abrogated following depletion of IL-12. Taken together, these findings suggest that defective IL-12 production in A/J mice during the early course of infection may result in fatal anaemia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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