We have studied the effects of hydroxyurea on growth and differentiation of early erythroid progenitor cells (BFU-e) from peripheral blood of sickle cell disease patients (five SS and two Hb S/β-thalassemia) in the presence or absence of exogenous stimulating factors. When the mononuclear cells from the sickle cell disease patients were cultured at diagnosis (before hydroxyurea treatment), there was an increased number of BFU-e in relation to controls (p < 0.05, Wilcoxon test) when cells were grown in the presence or absence of 5637 conditioned medium and erythropoietin. Colonies that developed in the absence of added growth factors were considered "spontaneous". A significant difference was observed after hydroxyurea treatment in the number of BFU-e obtained in the presence and absence of stimulus, with a higher reduction in the spontaneous BFU-e number. As expected, there was an increased Hb F level in these patients when compared with their pretreatment levels. There was no correlation between spontaneous BFU-e and hemoglobin levels in all patients studied.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the FundacËaÄo de Amparo aÃ Pesquisa do Estado de SaÄo Paulo (FAPESP) and Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cient́õfico e Tecnológico (CNPq).
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