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Blood. 2011 Jun 2;117(22):5963-74. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-09-304949. Epub 2011 Mar 31.

Regulatory effects of TLR2 on megakaryocytic cell function.

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Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, 700 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


TLR2, a functional, inflammatory-related receptor, is known to be expressed on megakaryocytes and platelets and to lead to infection and immune-mediated activation of platelets; however, the role of this receptor in megakaryocytes is not understood. Using Meg-01 cells and mouse megakaryocytes, we found that NFκB, ERK-MAPK, and PI3K/Akt pathways, known downstream pathways of TLRs, are activated by Pam3CSK4, a TLR2-specific ligand. In addition, transcription factors associated with megakaryocyte maturation, GATA-1, NF-E2, and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), are all increased in the presence of Pam3CSK4. The effect of Pam3CSK4 on megakaryocyte maturation was verified by the increase in DNA content and adhesion to extracellular matrix proteins by TLR2-dependent stimulation. In addition, TLR2 stimulation resulted in an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Gene expression and protein levels of GP1b, CD41, MCP-1, COX2, NFκB1, and TLR2 were up-regulated in megakaryocytes after TLR2 stimulation through NFκB, PI3K/Akt, and ERK-MAPK pathways. Treatment of wild-type mice with Pam3CSK4 resulted in a return to normal platelet levels and an increase in megakaryocyte maturation, which did not occur in the TLR2(-/-) mice. Therefore, inflammation, through TLR2, can increase maturation and modulate the phenotype of megakaryocytes, contributing to the interrelationship between inflammation and hemostasis.

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