Dasatinib enhances megakaryocyte differentiation but inhibits platelet formation.

Alexandra Mazharian, C Ghevaert, L Zhang, S Massberg, Steve Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

65 Citations (Scopus)


Dasatinib is a novel, potent, ATP-competitive inhibitor of Bcr-Abl, cKIT, and Src family kinases that exhibits efficacy in patients with imatinib-resistant chronic myelogenous leukemia. Dasatinib treatment is associated with mild thrombocytopenia and an increased risk of bleeding, but its biological effect on megakaryocytopoiesis and platelet production is unknown. In this study, we show that dasatinib causes mild thrombocytopenia in mice without altering platelet half-life, suggesting that it inhibits platelet formation. Conversely, the number of megakaryocytes (MKs) in the bone marrow of dasatinib-treated mice was increased and the ploidy of MKs derived from bone marrow progenitor cells in vitro was elevated in the presence of dasatinib. Furthermore, a significant delay in platelet recovery after immune-induced thrombocytopenia was observed in dasatinib-treated mice even though the number of MKs in the bone marrow was increased relative to controls at all time points. Interestingly, the migration of MKs toward a gradient of stromal cell-derived factor 1α (SDF1α) and the formation of proplatelets in vitro were abolished by dasatinib. We propose that dasatinib causes thrombocytopenia as a consequence of ineffective thrombopoiesis, promoting MK differentiation but also impairing MK migration and proplatelet formation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5198-206
Number of pages9
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2011


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