Critical role for ERK1/2 in bone marrow and fetal liver-derived primary megakaryocyte differentiation, motility, and proplatelet formation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Colleges, School and Institutes


Objective. Megakaryopoiesis and platelet formation is a multistep process through which hernatopoietic progenitor cells develop into mature megakaryocytes (MKs) and form proplatelets. The present study investigates the regulation of different steps of megakaryopoiesis (i.e., differentiation, migration, and proplatelet formation) by extracellar signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in two models of primary murine MKs derived from bone marrow (BM) cells and fetal liver (FL) cells. Materials and Methods. A preparation of MKs was generated from BM obtained from femora and tibiae of C57BL6 mice. FL-derived MKs were obtained from the liver of mouse fetuses aged 13 to 15 days. Results. For both cell populations, activation of MEK-ERK1/2 pathway by thrombopoietin was found to have a critical role in MK differentiation, regulating polyploidy and surface expression of CD34, GPIIb, and GPIb. The MEK-ERK1/2 pathway plays a major role in migration of BM-derived MKs toward a stromal-cell-derived factor 1 alpha (SDF1 alpha) gradient, whereas unexpectedly, FL-derived cells fail to migrate in response to the chemokine due to negligible expression of its receptor, CXCR4. The MEK-ERK1/2 pathway also plays a critical role in the generation of proplatelets. In contrast, p38MAPK pathway was not involved in any of these processes. Conclusion. This report demonstrates a critical role of MEK-ERK1/2 pathway in MK differentiation, motility, and proplatelet formation. This study highlights several differences between BM- and FL-derived MKs, which are discussed. (C) 2009 ISEH - Society for Hematology and Stem Cells. Published by Elsevier Inc.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1238-1249
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2009