This report describes the effect of pegylated recombinant human megakaryocyte growth and development factor (PEG-rHuMGDF) on platelet production and platelet function in humans. Subjects with advanced solid tumors received PEG-rHuMGDF daily for up to 10 days. There was no increase in circulating platelet count at doses of 0.03 or 0.1 microgram/kg/d by day 12 of study. At doses of 0.3 and 1.0 microgram/kg/d there was a threefold median increase (maximum 10-fold) in platelet count by day 16. The platelets produced in vivo in response to PEG-rHuMGDF showed unchanged aggregation and adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-release responses in in vitro assays. Tests included aggregation and release of ATP in response to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) (10, 5, 2.5, and 1.25 mumol/L), collagen (2 micrograms/mL), thrombin-receptor agonist peptide (TRAP, 10 mumol/L) and ristocetin (1.5 mg/mL). Administration of aspirin to an individual with platelet count of 1,771 x 10(3)/L resulted in the typical aspirin-induced ablation of the normal aggregation and ATP-release response to stimulation with arachidonic acid (0.5 mg/mL), collagen, and ADP (2.5 and 1.25 mumol/L). There was no change in the expression of the platelet-surface activation marker CD62P (P-selectin) nor induction of the fibrinogen binding site on glycoprotein IIb/IIIa as reported by the monoclonal antibody, D3GP3. An elevation of reticulated platelets was evident after 3 days of treatment with PEG-rHuMGDF and preceded the increase in circulating platelet count by 5 to 8 days; this reflected the production of new platelets in response to PEG-rHuMGDF. At later time points, the mean platelet volume (MPV) decreased in a manner inversely proportional to the platelet count. Levels of plasma glycocalicin, a measure of platelet turnover, rose 3 days after the initial increase in the peripheral platelet count. The level of plasma glycocalicin was proportional to the total platelet mass, suggesting that platelets generated in response to PEG-rHuMGDF were not more actively destroyed. Thus, the administration of PEG-rHuMGDF, to humans, increased the circulating platelet count and resulted in fully functional platelets, which showed no detectable increase in reactivity nor alteration in activation status.

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