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Semin Hematol. 2010 Jul;47(3):212-9. doi: 10.1053/j.seminhematol.2010.03.001.


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  • 1Pediatric Hematology-Oncology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92023, USA.


The process of megakaryopoiesis and platelet production is complex, with the potential for regulation at multiple stages. Megakaryocytes are derived from the hematopoietic stem cell through successive lineage commitment steps, and they undergo a unique maturation process that includes polyploidization, development of an extensive internal demarcation membrane system, and finally formation of pro-platelet processes. Platelets are shed from these processes into vascular sinusoids within the bone marrow. Megakaryocyte differentiation is regulated both positively and negatively by transcription factors and cytokine signaling. Thrombopoietin (TPO) is the most important hematopoietic cytokine for platelet production. Clinically, acquired and inherited mutations affecting megakaryocytic transcription factors and thrombopoietin signaling have been identified in disorders of thrombocytopenia and thrombocytosis.

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