Characterization of the hematopoietic defect in paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria.
We studied the relationship between paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and bone marrow failure using in vitro hematopoietic colony culture assays. Most of 17 patients with PNH showed decreased colony formation, by erythroid burst-forming cells (BFU-E) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-forming cells (CFU-C) in methylcellulose, disproportionate to their degree of bone marrow biopsy cellularity. Only a minority of the hematopoietic progenitors were sensitive to complement-mediated lysis in vitro. In contrast, normoblasts from maturing erythroid bursts removed from culture and exposed to acidified serum were sensitive to complement-mediated lysis. The size of bursts and the sensitivity of their progeny correlated strongly, suggesting that the PNH defect was acquired in culture as a function of the generational age of erythroid precursor cells. In addition, BFU-E of PNH patients were very sensitive to 3H-thymidine suicide, in comparison with normal individuals and patients with other hemolytic anemias, indicating that a large proportion of primitive erythroid progenitors in PNH bone marrow were in cell cycle. All of these results imply that acquisition of the PNH defect during erythropoiesis may lead to intramedullary destruction of developing erythroid cells. The increased demand that results on the progenitor pool may lead to stem cell depletion and bone marrow failure.
Moore, JG; Humphries, RK; Frank, MM; Young, N
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