Introduction: Antibody formation in transfusion-dependent thalassemia is associated with chronic hemolysis and repeated transfu-sions. Hemolysis produces heme, which mediates B-cell differentiation into plasma cells and produces antibodies influenced by interleukin-21 (IL-21). Objective: This study aimed to compare IL-21 levels, plasma cell percentage, and red blood cell antibodies between positive and negative allo-autoantibody thalassemia before and after hemin administration. Materials and Methods: This research employed a quasi-experimental nonequivalent control group pre-test and post-test design performed from April to November 2021 at Soetomo Academic Hospital in Surabaya, Indonesia. Heparinized blood samples of 5 mL and 4 mL and EDTA blood samples of 3 mL were taken from positive (29 patients) and negative (28 patients) allo-autoantibody thalassemia participants. Hemin 20 µM was added to 5 mL of heparinized blood, incubated for 2 hours, prepared into peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and cultured for 3 days. The percentage of plasma cells (CD38+CD184+) of cultured and uncultured PBMCs was measured by BD FACSCalibur Flow Cytometer. IL-21 levels of plasma and supernatants were measured with Sandwich Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay by Elabscience. Red blood cell antibodies were detected by QWALYS 3 E.M. Technology. Autoantibodies were determined by the Grifols gel tube method. Results: IL-21 levels were significantly different in the positive and negative allo-autoantibody thalassemia groups after hemin administration. The percentage of plasma cells in the positive allo-autoantibody group increased significantly after the administration of hemin. The percentage of plasma cells between thalassemia groups was not significantly different before the hemin administration but increased significantly after it. Red blood cell antibodies after the administration of hemin were significantly different in the negative allo-autoantibody group but not significantly different in the positive allo-autoantibody group. Conclusion: Hemin administration affected IL-21 levels, plasma cell percentage, and antibody formation in positive and negative allo-auto antibody thalassemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of General Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • IL-21 levels
  • plasma cells
  • red blood cells antibody
  • thalassemia disease


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