Plasmodium chabaudi AS: Erythropoietic responses during infection in resistant and susceptible mice

George S. Yap, Mary M. Stevenson

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59 Scopus citations


The course of anemia and the erythropoietic response in the bone marrow, spleen, and blood were studied during Plasmodium chabaudi AS infection in resistant C57BL/6 (B6) and susceptible A J (A) mice. Infections in B6 mice were characterized by moderate levels of both parasitemia and anemia and survival. In contrast, A mice experienced high parasitemia, severe anemia, and high mortality rates. During the period of anemia, erythropoiesis, as measured by in vivo 59Fe incorporation, was significantly more depressed in bone marrow and more increased in the spleen in resistant B6 mice. The increase in splenic 59Fe incorporation was a function of the size of the spleen. Bone marrow CFU-E were decreased to 50% of control in both strains, while splenic CFU-E were increased twofold greater in B6 mice compared to those in A mice. However, the absolute numbers of CFU-E per spleen in the two strains were not significantly different during peak parasitemia. Bone marrow BFU-E were transiently increased before peak parasitemia whereas splenic BFU-E peaked during peak parasitemia. A mice had significantly lower numbers of BFU-E per spleen on all days except at peak parasitemia. The frequency of blood-borne BFU-E and plasma erythropoietin titers was increased earlier and to a greater extent in A mice. These results suggest that an impaired amplification of late-stage splenic erythropoiesis may be an important determinant in the severity of anemia and lethality of infection with P. chabaudi AS in A mice. Moreover, these results demonstrate that the defective amplification of splenic erythropoiesis in A mice is neither caused by a defect in the mobilization of BFU-E from the bone marrow to the spleen nor caused by a defect in erythropoietin production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-352
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Parasitology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Parasitology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


  • Anemia
  • Blood
  • Bone marrow
  • Erythropoiesis
  • Malaria
  • Plasmodium chabaudi AS
  • Spleen

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