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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1995 Feb 6;207(1):398-404.

A plant steroid, diosgenin, a new megakaryocytic differentiation inducer of HEL cells.

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  • 1URA CNRS 1485, Facult├ęs de M├ędecine et de Pharmacie, Limoges, France.


We investigated the effect of plant steroids 5 alpha-spirosten-3 beta-ol (diosgenin), 5 alpha-spirostan-3 beta-ol (tigogenin) and 5 alpha-spirostan-3 beta-ol-12-one (hecogenin) on the human erythroleukemia cell line (HEL TIB 180) and found that diosgenin addition to HEL cell cultures induces morphological and biochemical changes characteristic for megakaryocyte cells. Diosgenin-treated cells exhibit, at the ultrastructural level, increases in size in cytoplasmic and nuclear complexity. At the biochemical level, we demonstrated that diosgenin-treated HEL cells increased glycoprotein Ib (GpIb) expression as previously described in the megakaryocytic differentiation of HEL cells induced by nanomolar dose phorbol myristate acetate treatment.

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