Thrombocytopenia with absent radii: Frequency of marrow megakarycyte progenitors, proliferative characteristics, and megakaryocyte growth and development factor responsiveness
Bone Marrow Cells
Hematopoietic Stem Cells
Congenital thrombocytopenia with absent radii (TAR syndrome) is characterized by defective thrombopoiesis and bleeding in early infancy. To determine the frequency and responsiveness to cytokines of megakaryocyte progenitors (CFU-Meg) in TAR syndrome, the authors studied marrow samples from 3 patients and 6 normal controls, using optimally standardized megakaryocyte growth media incorporating interleukin-3, interleukin-6, stem cell factor, and granulocyte-monocyte colony-stimulating factor, with and without pegylated recombinant human megakaryocyte growth and development factor (PEG-rHuMGDF). CFU-Meg was identified with a specific staining system utilizing monoclonal antibodies to glycoprotein IIb/IIIa. Growth of small CFU-Meg colonies (3-20 cells/colony) was observed in all patients in cultures without PEG-rHuMGDF, with a mean frequency of 8 (range 5-12) per 2.25 x 10(5) mononuclear cells plated (control mean 23; range 2-70). Identical cultures of marrow cells from patients and controls with added PEG-rHuMGDF produced more colonies per dish (mean 17, range 8-23; control mean 30, range 6-62). Except for 1 case, however, patients' colonies in response to PEG-rHuMGDF remained smaller than those of controls. Two patients tested had higher plasma thrombopoietin levels than 6 normal subjects. The findings demonstrate proliferative and PEG-rHuMGDF-responsive megakaryocytic progenitors in TAR syndrome. The modest reduction in frequency of megakaryocyte progenitors and the suboptimal size of colonies in response to PEG-rHuMGDF are compatible with the reported defective signal transduction in the c-mpl pathway in TAR syndrome.