New insights into the regulation of human megakaryocytopoiesis

R. Hoffman, J. Straneva, H. H. Yang, E. Bruno, J. Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


It is apparent that multiple cellular stages and biologic processes can be identified during megakaryocytopoiesis that are potentially subject to control by hematopoietic growth factors and marrow accessory cell populations. Two classes of megakaryocyte progenitor cells, the colony forming unit-megakaryocyte (CFU-MK) and the burst forming unit-megakaryocyte (BFU-MK), have now been detected in normal human bone marrow cells. The BFU-MK by virtue of the greater cellular content of its resultant colonies and the delayed time of appearance of these colonies appears to be a more primitive progenitor cell with a greater proliferative potential than the CFU-MK. A number of hematopoietic growth factors including megakaryocyte colony stimulating factor, (MK-CSF), recombinant erythropoietin (EPO) and granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) are each capable of increasing cloning efficiency of human megakaryocyte progenitor cells. It is presently unknown whether these factors act directly on the CFU-MK or whether they stimulate marrow accessory cells to elaborate growth factors that influence CFU-MK proliferation. In order to answer this question, the effect of these growth factors on the cloning efficiency of a huma megakaryocytic cell line, EST-IU, was examined. Each of these factors was capable of increasing leukemia cell colony formation. One can conclude from these studies that MK-CSF, EPO, and GM-CSF act directly on cells of the megakaryocytic lineage. The physiologic significance of the lineage nonspecific effects of EPO and GM-CSF on megakaryocytopoiesis is yet to be determined. On the basis of these observations, a model of human megakaryocytopoiesis was suggested. Several factors appear able to influence multiple steps in megakaryocytic development, whereas others influence only specific stages or cellular events occurring during megakaryocytopoiesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-86
Number of pages12
JournalBlood Cells
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


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