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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2015 Apr;72(8):1517-36. doi: 10.1007/s00018-014-1813-y. Epub 2015 Jan 9.

The secret life of a megakaryocyte: emerging roles in bone marrow homeostasis control.

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Department of Molecular Medicine, University of Pavia, Via Forlanini 6, 27100, Pavia, Italy.


Megakaryocytes are rare cells found in the bone marrow, responsible for the everyday production and release of millions of platelets into the bloodstream. Since the discovery and cloning, in 1994, of their principal humoral factor, thrombopoietin, and its receptor c-Mpl, many efforts have been directed to define the mechanisms underlying an efficient platelet production. However, more recently different studies have pointed out new roles for megakaryocytes as regulators of bone marrow homeostasis and physiology. In this review we discuss the interaction and the reciprocal regulation of megakaryocytes with the different cellular and extracellular components of the bone marrow environment. Finally, we provide evidence that these processes may concur to the reconstitution of the bone marrow environment after injury and their deregulation may lead to the development of a series of inherited or acquired pathologies.

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