Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), a platelet alpha-granule molecule, imply their potential effect in the regulation of megakaryocytopoiesis and thrombopoiesis, which also intimates the existence of an autocrine and/or paracrine loop constructed by megakaryocytes/platelets and their granular constituents. Our previous studies demonstrated the presence of functional PDGF receptors (PDGFR) on human megakaryocytes and platelets (Yang et al, Thromb Haemastasis, 1997) and CD34+ cells, and their ability to mediate a mitogenic response. PDGF promoted the ex vivo expansion of human hematopoietic stem (CD34+) and progenitor (CD41+ CD61+) cells. More significantly, PDGF enhanced the engraftment of human CD45+ cells and their myeloid subsets (CD33+, CD14+ cells) in NOD/SCID mice. PDGF stimulated in vitro megakaryocytopoiesis via PDGFR and/or the indirect effect on bone marrow microenvironment to produce TPO and other cytokines. It also showed a direct stimulatory effect of PDGF on c-Fos, GATA-1 and NF-E2 expressions in megakaryocytes. We speculate that these transcription factors might be involved in the signal transduction of PDGF on the regulation of megakaryocytopoiesis. PDGF also enhanced platelet recovery in mice model with radiation-induced thrombocytopenia. Studies showed that PDGF, like thrombopoietin (TPO), significantly promoted platelet recovery and the formation of bone marrow colony-forming unit-megakaryocyte (CFU-MK) in this irradiated-mouse. An increased number of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells and a reduction of apoptosis were found in the bone marrow histology sections. In the M-07e apoptotic model, PDGF had a similar anti-apoptotic effect as TPO on megakaryocytes. We also demonstrated that PDGF activated the PI3k/Akt signaling pathway, while addition of imatinib mesylate reduced p-Akt expression. Our findings suggested that the PDGF-initiated radioprotective effect is likely to be mediated via PDGF receptors with subsequent activation of the PI3k/Akt pathway. The study provides a possible explanation that blockage of PDGFR may reduce thrombopoiesis and play a role in imatinib mesylate-induced thrombocytopenia in the treatment of CML.
No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.