European journal of pediatrics

In vitro CFU-E and BFU-E responses to androgen in bone marrow from children with primary hypoproliferative anaemia: a possible therapeutic assay.

PMID 3956534


The effects of natural and synthetic androgens on erythroid colony formation in children's bone marrow cultures were studied using a methylcellulose microculture assay. In an attempt to predict the clinical response to androgens in two children with Fanconi anaemia (FA) and two children with Diamond-Blackfan syndrome (DB), we tested the hormonal stimulation of testosterone, nortestosterone and etiocholanolone on CFU-E, BFU-E and uroporphyrinogen I synthase activity (UROS). We observed that colony formation and UROS activity were reduced when compared to values obtained with normal children's bone marrow cultures. The addition of steroids to the cultures significantly enhanced the numbers of CFU-E and BFU-E derived colonies and their UROS activity in marrow from patients with FA and one patient with DB. The strong depletion of marrow progenitor cells in the unresponsive marrow from child 4 with DB could explain the absence of hormonal response. Whereas the responsiveness to steroids varied according to the individual, the in vitro testing of erythroid differentiation in the presence of androgens theoretically may lead to an effective prediction of response to therapy in children with hypoplastic anaemia.