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Anemia Associated With Acute Infection in Children: An Animal Model

Ballin, Ami MD; Hussein, Aeed PhD; Vaknine, Hananya MD; Senecky, Yehudah MD; Avni, Yona MD; Schreiber, Letizia MD; Tamary, Hannah MD; Boaz, Mona PhD

Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology: January 2013 - Volume 35 - Issue 1 - p 14–17
doi: 10.1097/MPH.0b013e31827b12ab
Original Articles

Background: We constructed an animal model to examine the possibility that erythrophagocytosis may contribute to decreased hemoglobin (Hgb) levels in acute infection in mice.

Methods: BALB/c mice weighing 20 to 25 g were injected (intraperitoneally) with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (Escherichia coli serotype) of some concentrations. Control mice were injected intraperitoneally with saline (0.5 mL). Two and 4 hours after LPS administration, mice were bled (0.25 mL) for complete blood count measures and tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 levels. The mice were then killed, and their spleen, liver, and bone marrow were examined microscopically for erythrophagocytosis.

Results: After LPS administration, mouse Hgb and hematocrit levels dropped significantly. At 4 hours after LPS injection, all Hgb and hematocrit concentrations were found to be significantly lower compared with that of controls (P=0.002 and 0.001, respectively). Significantly increased concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6 were evident after LPS injection. Prominent hepatic erythrophagocytosis was observed in the LPS-injected mice compared with controls. A significant across-group difference was observed at 4 hours, driven by significantly higher values in group 500 mcg versus controls (P=0.005) and 100 mcg (P=0.025). A significant increase in erythrophagocytes was observed at 2 to 4 hours in the 500 mcg LPS group (P=0.044).

Conclusions: Erythrophagocytosis may play a role in anemia associated with acute infection in mice.

*Department of Pediatrics

Institutes of Gastroenterology


#Epidemiological Unit, E. Wolfson Medical Center, Holon

Department of Hematology

Child Developmental Center, Schneider Children Hospital, Petach-Tiqva

The Sackler School of Medicine, Tel-Aviv, Israel

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Ami Ballin, MD, Department of Pediatrics, E. Wolfson Medical Center, Holon 58100, Israel (e-mail:

Received August 30, 2011

Accepted December 7, 2011

Copyright © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.