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Haematologica. 2013 May;98(5):718-21. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2012.079129.

Clonal analyses reveal associations of JAK2V617F homozygosity with hematologic features, age and gender in polycythemia vera and essential thrombocythemia.

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Cambridge Institute for Medical Research and Department of Haematology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


Subclones homozygous for JAK2V617F are more common and larger in patients with polycythemia vera compared to essential thrombocythemia, but their role in determining phenotype remains unclear. We genotyped 4564 erythroid colonies from 59 patients with polycythemia vera or essential thrombocythemia to investigate whether the proportion of JAK2V617F -homozygous precursors, compared to heterozygous precursors, is associated with clinical or demographic features. In polycythemia vera, a higher proportion of homozygous-mutant precursors was associated with more extreme blood counts at diagnosis, consistent with a causal role for homozygosity in polycythemia vera pathogenesis. Larger numbers of homozygous-mutant colonies were associated with older age, and with male gender in polycythemia vera but female gender in essential thrombocythemia. These results suggest that age promotes development or expansion of homozygous-mutant clones and that gender modulates the phenotypic consequences of JAK2V617F homozygosity, thus providing a potential explanation for the long-standing observations of a preponderance of men with polycythemia vera but of women with essential thrombocythemia.

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