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Blood. 1986 Feb;67(2):285-93.

Immunohistochemical localization of membrane and alpha-granule proteins in human megakaryocytes: application to plastic-embedded bone marrow biopsy specimens.


Using a new technique for antigen localization, we have demonstrated platelet proteins in megakaryocytes in plastic-embedded biopsy specimens of normal human bone marrow. In a series of 25 specimens, megakaryocytes showed labeling with antibodies to the integral membrane glycoproteins IIIa, IIb, and the IIb-IIIa complex; granule membrane protein 140; and five alpha-granule matrix proteins: thrombospondin, factor VIII-related antigen, beta-thromboglobulin, platelet factor 4, and fibrinogen. The antibodies to the membrane glycoproteins IIIa, IIb, and IIb-IIIa produced diffuse cytoplasmic staining and heavier staining on the plasma membrane, whereas the antibodies to the alpha-granule matrix proteins produced a distinct granular staining within the cytoplasm. Staining for granule membrane protein 140 was also granular in distribution. Rare mononuclear cells consistent with megakaryocyte precursors were labeled with these markers. Other enzyme histochemical and lectin-binding studies showed that the enzyme alpha-naphthyl acetate esterase, the lectin Ulex europaeus I, and the periodic-acid Schiff reaction were consistent, but not specific, markers of megakaryocytes. This immunohistochemical technique should facilitate the examination of qualitative and quantitative changes in megakaryocytes in a variety of physiologic and pathologic processes.

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