Responsiveness to recombinant human erythropoietin of marrow erythroid progenitors from infants with the "anemia of prematurity"

J Pediatr. 1988 Jun;112(6):935-40. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3476(88)80223-3.


We used cells from marrow aspirations that had been performed on 10 infants with the "anemia of prematurity" and tested the responsiveness of their erythroid colony-forming units (CFU-E) to recombinant human erythropoietin. For comparison, we also tested marrow-derived CFU-E from five healthy adults, and circulating CFU-E from cord blood of five healthy neonates. CFU-E from the anemic infants had a 50% maximal response at 0.073 +/- 0.024 U erythropoietin per milliliter (mean +/- SD). They were therefore at least as responsive as were CFU-E from adults, which displayed a 50% maximal response at 0.118 +/- 0.076 U/ml, and as were circulating CFU-E of cord blood origin, which had a 50% maximal response at 0.109 +/- 0.047 U/ml. Because CFU-E from infants with the "anemia of prematurity" appeared highly sensitive to erythropoietin in vitro, we propose that its administration to these patients would likely result in a significant increase in erythrocyte production in vivo.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anemia, Neonatal / physiopathology*
  • Bone Marrow / physiology
  • Erythropoietin / pharmacology*
  • Fetal Blood / physiology
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / physiopathology
  • Stem Cells / physiology*


  • Erythropoietin