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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effects of human interleukin-6 on megakaryocyte development and thrombocytopoiesis in primates.

Recombinant human interleukin-6 (IL-6) has previously been shown to increase platelet counts in mice and primates. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, serial analyses were performed on megakaryocytes obtained from rhesus monkeys treated for 8 days with 30 micrograms/kg/d of recombinant human IL-6. Platelet counts increased to a maximum of 7.8 x 10(5)/microL with biphasic peaks on days 7 and 12 without significant changes in platelet volumes. Large increases in DNA content were seen by two-color flow cytometry and digital image analysis. Ploidy distribution underwent a significant shift between study days 3 and 11 (P less than .0001) with large increases in the frequency of 64N and 128N megakaryocytes. The modal ploidy increased from the normal 16N to 64N. Megakaryocyte size, as measured by area, was increased 2- to 2.7-fold. On day 3, multiple megakaryocytes were seen in endomitosis, along with an abundance of young cells with wide, organelle-free peripheral zones. The giant megakaryocytes seen on days 5 to 7 exhibited marked membrane hyperplasia that occupied much of the cell. Emperipolesis occurred frequently, as did megakaryocyte cell death. No giant platelets were seen. We conclude that IL-6 significantly alters the process of megakaryocyte maturation and thrombocytopoiesis, and that these effects, at least in the doses of IL-6 administered, should not be equated with the physiologic mechanisms operative during accelerated platelet production.[1]


  1. Effects of human interleukin-6 on megakaryocyte development and thrombocytopoiesis in primates. Stahl, C.P., Zucker-Franklin, D., Evatt, B.L., Winton, E.F. Blood (1991) [Pubmed]
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