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

Endogenous serum thrombopoietin concentrations in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.

Prognosis in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is closely correlated with cytopenia. To date, no factor is available which is able to reliably stimulate megakaryopoiesis in vivo. Recently, the ligand of the mpl receptor was cloned and found to be thrombopoietin (TPO). We measured endogenous TPO serum levels in 69 patients suffering from MDS using an TPO receptor-based ELISA. Twenty-six of the patients suffered from refractory anemia (RA), 12 from RA with excess of blasts (RAEB), 25 from RAEB in transition (RAEBt), and six from chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML). This assay uses a chimeric molecule consisting of the human TPO receptor fused to the Fc portion of human IgG as the capture reagent. Biotinylated antibody to TPO IgG was used for detection and the lower detection limit in serum was found to be 160 pg/ml. Samples obtained from healthy individuals with a normal platelet number were shown to be below detectable levels. In patients with RA, high endogenous serum TPO concentrations correlated with low platelet count and significantly elevated TPO concentrations were only found when megakaryopoiesis was absent or decreased in the bone marrow. This correlation was not detected in RAEB and RAEBt patients and no detectable TPO serum concentrations were found in six CMML patients whether they showed decreased or normal platelet count. Our data show that endogenous TPO production is upregulated by decreased circulating platelet count only in patients with refractory anemia. In the more advanced stages of MDS where the leukemic clone has further progressed, an inadequate TPO response occurs, possibly due to overexpression of the mpl receptor by the malignant clone.[1]


  1. Endogenous serum thrombopoietin concentrations in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes. Zwierzina, H., Rollinger-Holzinger, I., Nuessler, V., Herold, M., Meng, Y.G. Leukemia (1998) [Pubmed]
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