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Haematologica. 2019 Jun 27. pii: haematol.2018.202010. doi: 10.3324/haematol.2018.202010. [Epub ahead of print]

Megakaryocyte volume modulates bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics.

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Institute of Experimental Biomedicine, University Hospital Würzburg, Germany.
Rudolf Virchow Center for Experimental Biomedicine, University of Würzburg, Germany.
Rudolf Virchow Center for Experimental Biomedicine, University of Würzburg, Germany


All hematopoietic cells that develop in the bone marrow must cross the endothelial barrier to enter the blood circulation. Blood platelets, however, are released by bigger protrusions of huge progenitor cells, named megakaryocytes, and enter the blood stream as so-called proplatelets before fragmenting into mature platelets. Recently, a second function of megakaryocytes has been identified, as they modulate the quiescence of hematopoietic stem cells, mostly via different soluble factors. We know from light sheet fluorescence microscopy images that megakaryocytes are distributed throughout the bone marrow facing a dense vascular network. Here, we used such three-dimensional images to provide a realistic simulation template reflecting the in vivo cell-vessel distributions resulting in reliable whole-bone analysis in silico. Combining this approach with an automated image analysis pipeline, we found that megakaryocytes influence migration of neutrophils and hematopoietic stem cells, and thus act as biomechanical restrainers modulating cell mobility and extravasation. Indeed, as consequence of increased megakaryocyte volumes in platelet-depleted mice neutrophil mobility was reduced in these animals.


Bone Marrow Microenvironment; Granulocytes, Monocytes, Macrophages; Hematopoiesis; Hematopoietic Stem Cell

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