Interleukin-3, interleukin-6, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and erythropoietin cord blood levels of preterm and term neonates
Two-stage cell culture assays were used to determine burst-promoting activity (BPA) levels in the plasma of untransfused premature infants during the early anaemic period. The plasma BPA levels decreased during the early phase of the postnatal fall in haemoglobin and the mean plasma BPA levels at 2 and 4 weeks of age were significantly lower (24 +/- 9% and 20 +/- 14%) than those of normal adults (53 +/- 17%). After 8 weeks of age, plasma BPA levels increased markedly in correlation with the recovery of erythropoiesis. Inhibitors of erythroid colony growth were not significantly elevated in the plasma of premature infants. These results suggest that BPA may act as a regulator of erythropoiesis in preterm infants along with erythropoietin.