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Leukemia. 1998 Mar;12(3):295-300.

Serum thrombopoietin levels in patients correlate inversely with platelet counts during chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia.

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Department of Medicine III, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Japan.


We studied serum thrombopoietin (TPO) levels and circulating numbers of platelet during five courses of myelosuppressive post-remission chemotherapy in three patients with acute leukemia in complete remission. Serum TPO levels were measured by a newly developed and sensitive sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In all courses, serum TPO levels changed reciprocally with the platelet counts. When platelets were transfused into patients near the time of platelet nadir, the TPO levels dropped temporarily, while platelet counts temporarily increased. In addition, platelets obtained after transfusion in a thrombocytopenic patient showed lower binding to biotinylated TPO than donor platelets prior to the transfusion. The finding indicated that the TPO receptors were saturated with endogenous TPO of the patient with a high serum TPO level. These results suggest that the platelet mass directly regulates serum TPO levels by receptor-mediated absorption and is one of the major regulators of serum TPO levels in humans.

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