A new syndrome of anemia, alopecia, and dyskeratosis was identified in Polled Hereford calves in this study. Cutaneous changes included hyperkeratosis and hair loss around the muzzle and ear margins, which progressed to a generalized alopecia and hyperkeratotic dermatitis. Histologically, orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis with dyskeratosis of epidermal and follicular keratinocytes was present. Alopecia was correlated with dyskeratosis of Huxley's layer and an increasing proportion of follicles in the telogen phase of the hair cycle. Dermatitis was characterized by a mild dermal mononuclear cell infiltrate and mild lymphocytic perivascular dermatitis. The anemia present at birth was nonprogressive and was classified as normochromic and normocytic to macrocytic. Reticulocytosis was absent, but bone marrow was markedly hyperplastic. Nuclear cytoplasmic asynchrony of the rubricyte and metarubricyte stages occurred in the bone marrow. Abnormal rubricyte nuclei and maturation arrest at the late rubricyte stage were common. Cytologic features of the erythroid series are similar to those of type I congenital dyserythropoietic anemia of human beings. Genealogic features suggest that this is a primary hereditary defect. The mode of inheritance, however, remains to be determined.
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