Abstract

The effects of administration of partially purified human urinary erythropoietin and rabbit thrombopoietin, and of endogenously produced erythropoietin and thrombopoietin on both red cell and platelet production were examined in mice. Partially purified thrombopoietin was prepared from rabbit plasma by sequential fractionation with ammonium sulfate precipitation, and DEAE and Sephadex G-100 chromatography. Preparations of thrombopoietin and partially purified human urinary erythropoietin (NIH No. H-11-TaLSL) were administered subcutaneously to normal mice, and the rate of incorporation of selenomethionine-75 Se into platelets was measured as an index of thrombopoietic activity of the infused material. Erythropoietin and thrombopoietin were assayed for erythropoietic activity by measuring the rate of appearance of 59Fe in the red cells of posthypoxic polycythemic mice. Preparations containing thrombopoietin had barely measurable erythropoietic activity, and 7 units of partially purified erythropoietin had little thrombopoietic activity. When endogenous levels of erythropoietin were increased by hypoxia, platelet production was not enhanced. Similarly, increased levels of thrombopoietin, induced in response to thrombocytopenia produced by platelet antiserum, did not alter red cell production. These data suggest that physiologically increased levels of thrombopoietin do not stimulate erythropoiesis, and that physiologically increased levels of erythropoietn do not stimulate thrombopoiesis. However, currently available, partially purified preparations of erythropoietin and thrombopoietin may be capable of stimulating both platelet and red cell production if used in sufficient quantities.

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