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From the same journal

NMDA receptor-mediated regulation of human megakaryocytopoiesis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Publication details

DatePublished - 15 Aug 2003
Issue number4
Number of pages5
Pages (from-to)1254-1259
Original languageEnglish


Identification of the regulatory inputs that direct megakaryocytopoiesis and platelet production is essential for the development of novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of thrombosis and related hematologic disorders. We have previously shown that primary human megakaryocytes express the N-methyl-d-aspartate acid (NMDA) receptor 1 (NR1) subunit of NMDA-type glutamate receptors, which appear to be pharmacologically similar to those identified at neuronal synapses, responsible for mediating excitatory neurotransmission in the central nervous system. However, the functional role of NMDA receptor signaling in megakaryocytopoiesis remains unclear. Here we provide evidence that demonstrates the fundamental importance of this signaling pathway during human megakaryocyte maturation in vitro. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis of RNA extracted from CD34+-derived megakaryocytes identified expression of NR2A and NR2D receptor subunits in these cells, as well as the NMDA receptor accessory proteins, Yotiao and postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95). In functional studies, addition of a selective NMDA receptor antagonist, MK-801 inhibited proplatelet formation, without affecting proliferation or apoptosis. Exposure of CD34+ cells to MK-801 cultured for 14 days in the presence of thrombopoietin induced a decrease in expression of the megakaryocyte cell surface markers CD61, CD41a, and CD42a compared with controls. At an ultrastructural level, MK-801-treated cells lacked alpha-granules, demarcated membranes, and multilobed nuclei, which were prominent in untreated mature megakaryocyte controls. Using immunohistochemistry on sections of whole tibiae from c-Mpl knockout mice we demonstrated that megakaryocytic NMDA receptor expression was maintained following c-Mpl ablation. These data support a fundamental role for glutamate signaling in megakaryocytopoiesis and platelet production, which is likely to be independent of thrombopoietin-mediated effects.

    Research areas

  • A Kinase Anchor Proteins, Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing, Animals, Antigens, CD34, Blood Platelets, Carrier Proteins, Cell Differentiation, Cells, Cultured, Cytoskeletal Proteins, Dizocilpine Maleate, Humans, Megakaryocytes, Mice, Mice, Knockout, Nerve Tissue Proteins, RNA, Messenger, Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction, Signal Transduction, Thrombopoietin

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