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Hematology. 2007 Dec;12(6):473-9.

Application of PRV-1 mRNA expression level and JAK2V617F mutation for the differentiating between polycytemia vera and secondary erythrocytosis and assessment of treatment by interferon or hydroxyurea.

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National Hematology Research Centre, Moscow, Russia.


Increased PRV-1 mRNA expression and the presence of Jak2(V617F) mutation in peripheral blood granulocytes are specific markers for chronic myeloproliferative disorders (MPD), which facilitate the differential diagnosis between polycythemia vera (PV) and secondary erythrocytosis (SE) and may be helpful for monitoring treatment efficacy in MPD patients. We evaluated the presence of the Jak2V617F mutation and increased PRV-1 mRNA expression along with previously established markers - erythropoietin (EPO) independent colony formation (EEC) and erythropoietin level for diagnosis of PV and assessment of treatment efficiency. Increased PRV-1 expression was found in 37 out of 46 patients diagnosed with PV (80%), in 4 out of 15 patients diagnosed with essential thrombocythemia (ET) (27%) and in 4 out of 8 patients with chronic idiopathic myelofibrosis (CIMF) (50%), and increased PRV-1 expression plus EEC formation was observed in 19 of 36 examined MPD patients indicating the superiority of PVSG and WHO bone marrow criteria for the diagnosis of ET, PV and CIMF. We could confirm a very high sensitivity, specificity and utility of the Jak2(V617F) mutation for differential diagnosis between PV and SE. Spontaneous EEC, serum EPO levels, PRV-1 expression was evaluated in 22 PV patients who carried the Jak2(V617F) mutation. A concordance of increased PRV-1 expression and presence of Jak2(V617F) mutation in 19/22 (85%); of increased PRV-1/Jak2/EEC in 14/22 (63%); and of Jak2/PRV-1/EEC/low Epo level in 10/22 (45%) patients was found indicating the superiority of the presence of Jak2(V617F) mutation for the diagnosis of PV. IFN-alpha therapy in patients with PV was more effective then hydroxyurea treatment and significantly reduced increased PRV-1 expression together with higher levels of Jak2(V617F) mutation (50-100%) in PV patients treated with hydroxy urea (HU) and lower levels of Jak2(V617F) mutation (35-90%) in PV patients treated with IFN-alpha. Normal PRV-1 expression level was observed in 44% of PV patients who achieved clinical remission and only in 3% of patient who did not. These preliminary observations indicate that the Jak2(V617F) mutation in particular and PRV-1 overexpression appear to be suitable markers for monitoring treatment efficiency in prospective randomised clinical studies comparing pegylated interferon and hydroxyurea in well defined PV patients with a clear indication for cytoreductive therapy.

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