The pathogenesis of polycythemia vera (PV), a disease involving a multipotent hematopoietic progenitor cell, is unknown. Thrombopoietin (TPO) is a newly characterized hematopoietic growth factor which regulates the production of multipotent hematopoietic progenitor cells as well as platelets. To evaluate the possibility that an abnormality in TPO-mediated signal transduction might be involved in the pathogenesis of PV, we examined TPO-induced protein tyrosine phosphorylation using platelets as a surrogate model system. Platelets were isolated from the blood of patients with PV as well as from patients with other chronic myeloproliferative disorders and control subjects. Impaired TPO-mediated platelet protein tyrosine phosphorylation was a consistent observation in patients with PV as well as those with idiopathic myelofibrosis (IMF), in contrast to patients with essential thrombocytosis, chronic myelogenous leukemia, secondary erythrocytosis, iron deficiency anemia, hemochromatosis, or normal volunteers. Thrombin-mediated platelet protein tyrosine phosphorylation was intact in PV platelets as was expression of the appropriate tyrosine kinases and their cognate substrates. However, expression of the platelet TPO receptor, Mpl, as determined by immunoblotting, chemical crosslinking or flow cytometry was markedly reduced or absent in 34 of 34 PV patients and also in 13 of 14 IMF patients. Impaired TPO-induced protein tyrosine phosphorylation in PV and IMF platelets was uniformly associated with markedly reduced or absent expression of Mpl. We conclude that reduced expression of Mpl is a phenotypic characteristic of platelets from patients with PV and IMF. The abnormality appears to distinguish PV from other forms of erythrocytosis and may be involved in the platelet function defect associated with PV.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Volume||16 Suppl 2|
|Publication status||Published - 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology