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Scanning Microsc. 1987 Dec;1(4):1701-9.

Megakaryocyte motility and platelet formation.

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  • 1Division of Biology and Medicine, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


The mechanism of platelet formation is reviewed with special emphasis on the role of the cytoskeleton. The three major theories for platelet formation are by cytoplasmic budding, cytoplasmic dissolution or pseudopod formation. Most evidence indicates that platelets form as fragments of megakaryocyte pseudopodia. Pseudopodia formation is stimulated in vitro by thrombocytopenic rabbit plasma. It is inhibited by vincristine and altered by taxol. Cytochalasins cause pseudopodia to form in isolated megakaryocytes. Therefore, normal pseudopodia formation may depend on a combination of microfilament disorganization and microtubule elongation.

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