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Leukemia. 2005 Sep;19(9):1558-66.

Involvement of transforming growth factor-beta and thrombopoietin in the pathogenesis of myelodysplastic syndrome with myelofibrosis.

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Fourth Department of Internal Medicine, Sapporo Medical University, School of Medicine, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan.


We investigated the cause of myelofibrosis and proliferation of megakaryocytes in myelodysplastic syndrome with myelofibrosis (MDS-MF (+)). Plasma-transforming growth factor-beta1 (PTGF-beta1) concentrations closely correlated with myelofibrosis grade in MDS-MF (+) and were higher than those in idiopathic myelofibrosis (IMF), essential thrombocythemia (ET), idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), MDS-without MF (MDS-MF (-)) or healthy volunteers (HV). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from MDS-MF (+) patients expressed more TGF-beta1 mRNA than those from IMF, MDS-MF (-) or HV. When we immunostained bone marrow specimens of MDS-MF (+) for TGF-beta, the intensity of blasts was apparently higher than that of megakaryocytes, while in MDS-MF (-), megakaryocytes were immunostained with a similar intensity as that in MDS-MF (+), but blasts were negative for staining. In IMF, megakaryocytes, monocytes and small mononuclear cells representing CD34+ cells were all similarly stained with a much lower intensity than that of blasts in MDS-MF (+). The number of bone marrow megakaryocytes were increased the most in MDS-MF (+), followed by ET, ITP, MDS-MF (-) and NHL and correlated with plasma thrombopoietin (TPO) levels or with plasma TGF-beta1 levels, respectively, in each disease. Thus, in MDS-MF (+), both myelofibrosis and the increased megakaryocytes were ascribed to overproduction of TGF-beta1 from blasts.

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