Terminal cytoplasmic maturation of human megakaryocytes in vitro

J. E. Straneva, M. P. Goheen, S. L. Hui, E. Bruno, R. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Several studies suggest that serum factors (thrombopoietins) regulate thrombopoiesis by altering the number, size, ploidy, and maturation rate of megakaryocytes (MK). Various in vivo systems have been used to quantitate these events. In this study, an in vitro system was developed to monitor terminal cytoplasmic maturation of isolated human MK. MK enriched by elutriation, which eliminated the MK progenitors, were suspended in culture with serum from either normal donors (NABS) or patients with aplastic anemia (AAS). In cultures composed of small platelet glycoprotein-positive mononuclear cells and morphologically immature MK, development was characterized by sequential shifts in MK through morphologically recognizable maturation stages I, II, III, and IV over eight days of incubation (I and II only; then I, II, III; II, III, IV; III and IV; then IV only). Platelet formation coincided with the appearances of stage IV cells. Cultures composed of a mixture of all stages followed a similar maturation sequence, only at an accelerated rate. AAS resulted in the more rapid appearances of the mature cells in either system. This study indicates that human MK can undergo terminal cytoplasmic maturation in vitro, and that altering culture conditions (AAS for NABS) can accelerate the rate of maturation. Three major events occur during megakarypocytopoiesis: proliferation of the progenitor cells, polyploidization, and cytoplasmic maturation. Now it is possible to study the terminal steps of differentiation independent of proliferative events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-929
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research

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