Neonatal erythropoiesis. II. Bone marrow and splenic erythropoietic activity: data suggest erythropoietin transfer via maternal milk

Endocr Regul. 1992 Sep;26(3):143-9.


In this study we examined erythropoiesis in the bone marrow and spleen of 9 to 12-day-old neonatal rats suckled by bleeding-induced anemic mothers. Quantitative evaluations of the spleen revealed a significant decrease in total numbers of nucleated RBC/mg spleen in 11-day-old pups nursed by the anemic mother which returned to control values by day 12. A significant reduction in total numbers of nucleated RBC/mg marrow was seen in both 11 and 12-day-old pups of anemic mothers when compared to control values. These results suggest that: 1. Ep is transmitted to suckling rats via the maternal milk; 2. Ep in the neonate exerts its influence predominantly at the level of the differentiated erythroid compartment probably by causing a shortening of the mean transit time of the proliferating erythroblast compartment and/or by decrease in the maturation time of the nonproliferating orthochromatic and reticulocyte compartments; 3. the regulation of erythropoiesis in the neonate differs from that in the adult.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / etiology
  • Anemia / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / physiology*
  • Bone Marrow Cells*
  • Erythrocyte Count
  • Erythropoiesis*
  • Erythropoietin / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Hemorrhage
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Milk / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Rats
  • Spleen / cytology*


  • Erythropoietin