Investigation of the molecular basis of megakaryocyte (MK) and platelet biology has been limited by an inadequate source of genetically manipulable cells exhibiting physiologic MK and platelet functions. We hypothesized that ex vivo cultured MKs would exhibit agonist inducible glycoprotein (GP) IIb- IIIa activation characteristic of blood platelets and that these cultured MKs would be capable of transgene expression. Microscopic and flow cytometric analyses confirmed that human hematopoietic stem cells cultured in the presence of pegylated recombinant human MK growth and development factor (PEG-rHuMGDF) differentiated into morphologic and phenotypic MKs over 2 weeks. Cultured MKs expressed functional GPIIb-IIIa receptors as assessed by agonist inducible soluble fibrinogen and PAC1 binding. The specificity and kinetics of fibrinogen binding to MK GPIIb-IIIa receptors were similar to those described for blood platelets. The reversibility and internalization of ligands bound to MK GPIIb-IIIa also shared similarities with those observed in platelets. Cultured MKs were transduced with an adenoviral vector encoding green fluorescence protein (GFP) or β-galactosidase (β-gal). Efficiency of gene transfer increased with increasing multiplicities of infection and incubation time, with 45% of MKs expressing GFP 72 hours after viral infection. Transduced MKs remained capable of agonist induced GPIIb-IIIa activation. Thus, ex vivo cultured MKs (1) express agonist responsive GPIIb- IIIa receptors, (2) are capable of expressing transgenes, and (3) may prove useful for investigation of the molecular basis of MK differentiation and GPIIb-IIIa function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology