53rd ASH Annual Meeting
SAN DIEGO — Researchers from Japan have developed an immortalized megakaryocyte cell line derived from human pluripotent stem cells that could be used for a platelet production system, according to a presentation here.
“This is an exciting development for the transfusion community, as our methodology has proven that platelets can be created in the lab from human induced pluripotent stem cells,” researcher Koji Eto, MD, PhD, professor at the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application at Kyoto University in Japan, said in a press release. “The next step will be to conduct a trial to determine whether our platelets can function in the human body and potentially provide a stable supply of platelets at a predefined quality and quantity that can then be used for transfusion therapy.”
The researchers previously demonstrated that peak activation of the c-Myc gene in megakaryocyte progenitor cells, followed by a reduction of c-Myc expression, are key components of in vitro platelet generation. They also found that c-Myc overexpression increased the number of megakaryocytes and induced apoptosis and cell senescence.
In this study, they showed that this phenomenon is regulated by induction of the INK4a and ARF genes. They analyzed the effects of three scenarios: c-Myc and p53 knockdown, c-Myc and bcl-xL overexpression and c-Myc and BMI1 overexpression. They found that only c-Myc and BMI1 overexpression increased numbers of CD41a+/CD42b+ non-polyploid megakaryocytes for more than 3 months.
Tony Talebi, MD