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Am J Hematol. 2014 Dec;89(12):E228-34. doi: 10.1002/ajh.23832. Epub 2014 Sep 2.

Effect of thrombopoietin receptor agonists on the apoptotic profile of platelets in patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia.

Author information

1
Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, New York; Laboratory of Platelet Biology, New York Blood Center, New York, New York.

Abstract

Platelet survival depends upon mediators of apoptosis e.g., Bcl-xL, Bax, and Bak, which are regulated by thrombopoietin (TPO)-mediated AKT signaling. Thrombopoietin receptor (TPO-R) signaling might decrease platelet and/or megakaryocyte apoptosis and increase the platelet count. This study therefore explored anti-apoptotic effects of TPO-R-agonists in vivo on platelets of patients with immune thrombocytopenia. Patients received eltrombopag or romiplostim for two weeks. Total, immature, and large platelet counts were assessed as were Bcl-xL inhibitor assay; Bcl-xL Western blot; and flow cytometric (FACS) analysis of the AKT-signaling pathway. Eight/ten patients had platelet responses to eltrombopag and all three to romiplostim. Platelet sensitivity to apoptosis by Bcl-xL inhibition was greater in pretreatment patients than controls. This sensitivity normalized after one week of therapy, but surprisingly returned to pretreatment levels at week two. FACS analysis revealed increased AKT-pathway signaling after one week, followed by a decrease at week two. Platelet counts correlated with the Bcl-xL /Bak ratio. Platelet survival may be enhanced by TPO-R-agonists as a transient decrease in platelet sensitivity to apoptosis was accompanied by transient activation of AKT. However, this mechanism has only a short-lived effect. Megakaryocytes and platelets already present at the start of TPO-R-agonist treatment appear to respond differently than those generated de novo.

PMID:
25132654
DOI:
10.1002/ajh.23832
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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