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J Cell Physiol. 1989 Oct;141(1):160-9.

Ultrastructural analysis of acute immune thrombocytopenia in mice: dissociation between alterations in megakaryocytes and platelets.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco 94143.


Thrombopoiesis was studied in mice after the induction of acute immune thrombocytopenia with platelet antiserum (PAS). Utilizing electron microscopy, we examined platelets and megakaryocytes (MK) obtained 4, 8, 12, 24, 48, 72, and 120 hr after administration of PAS. Four to 24 hr after injection of PAS, the majority of bone marrow MK were normal in size and organelle distribution. The demarcation membrane system (DMS) extended normally throughout the mature cell cytoplasm at these times. However, approximately 50% of MK observed 48 hr and 72 hr after injection of PAS were significantly larger than normal, and often had demarcation membranes confined to an area between a peripheral organelle-deficient zone and a central nuclear zone. The median values for sectional areas of platelets obtained 8-72 hr after administration of PAS were significantly greater than the median value for sectional areas of platelets in a pooled control sample. The proportion of cytoplasm to surface-connected canalicular system appeared greater than normal in most large platelets from the PAS samples; and increased numbers of profiles of Golgi complex and endoplasmic reticulum were observed. By 48 hr post-injection of PAS (at which time the modal ploidy class of MK has shifted from 16N to 32N; Corash et al., Blood 70:177, 1987), most platelets were normal in size and cytoplasmic appearance. At 120 hr post-injection of PAS, virtually all platelets exhibited a normal size and complement of organelles, and MK also had returned to normal. Our data indicate that in response to acute thrombocytopenia, MK prematurely release platelets which differ from normal platelets in size and cytoplasmic appearance. There was a marked dissociation between alterations in platelets and MK, since a statistically significant increase in platelet sectional area occurred 40 hr before the shift in modal ploidy class of MK, and platelet size subsequently decreased toward normal during the period that has been shown to be associated with the maximum shift in MK ploidy. These results strongly suggest that the characteristics of platelet release do not depend on the ploidy or cytoplasmic characteristics of MK.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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