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Yale J Biol Med. 1981 Mar-Apr;54(2):89-94.

The proliferative capacity of pure red cell aplasia bone marrow cells.


Pure red cell aplasia (PRCA) is a heterogeneous disorder. Immunologic abnormalities have recently been uncovered suggesting that both cell-mediated and humoral immune mechanisms may be of etiological importance in PRCA. Utilizing a technique for the cloning of bone marrow erythroid precursors, we determined the in vitro proliferative capacity of erythroid cells obtained from 21 patients with PRCA. Bone marrow cells from one group of patients produced normal or increased numbers of erythroid colonies while the in vitro proliferative capacity of bone marrow cells from a second group was characterized by subnormal erythroid colony formation. Sera obtained from the former group was frequently associated with demonstrable serum inhibitors of erythropoiesis, while PRCA in the latter group was probably the consequence of intrinsic erythroid stem cell defects or pathologic cellular interactions with nonerythroid regulatory cells. This survey of a relatively large population of patients with PRCA provides evidence for the multiple causative mechanisms that can be operative in the production of PRCA.

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