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Leukemia. 1997 Nov;11(11):1827-32.

Blood thrombopoietin, IL-6 and IL-11 levels in patients with agnogenic myeloid metaplasia.

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Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York 11212, USA.


Agnogenic myeloid metaplasia (AMM) is a disease characterized by bone marrow megakaryocyte hyperplasia and clusters of megakaryocytes, in which many of the megakaryocytes are atypical. In order to elucidate the mechanisms of megakaryocytosis, ELISA assays of blood levels of thrombopoietin (TPO), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-11 (IL-11) were done in 45 patients with AMM and compared with normal volunteer controls. Higher blood TPO levels were found in AMM than in controls (P < 0.0001), and blood TPO levels were correlated with the degree of marrow fibrosis (P = 0.0078). Blood levels of IL-6 were also significantly higher in AMM, when compared with controls (P < 0.0001). However, no correlation was found between blood IL-6 levels and degree of marrow fibrosis. No correlation was found between either TPO or IL-6 and the number of blood platelet counts, the number of marrow megakaryocytes, WBC counts, or the degree of splenomegaly. Blood IL-11 levels were undetectable in most patients and no significant difference was found in AMM as compared to controls. The present study demonstrated that, while in idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) or aplastic anemia, blood TPO levels are relatively correlated with the numbers of platelet and/or megakaryocyte mass, blood TPO levels do not correlate with blood platelet counts, or marrow megakaryocyte mass in AMM. Therefore, in AMM, other mechanisms such as the number of TPO receptors on platelets or megakaryocytes, c-MPL receptor abnormalities, abnormal production of TPO mRNA and so on, will have to be studied. Furthermore, TPO may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of marrow fibrosis; IL-6 may be a factor in the development of marrow megakaryocytosis but its elevated blood levels may represent a secondary immune phenomenon; and IL-11 probably does not play a significant role in causing marrow megakaryocytosis in this disease.

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