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Hu Z.,University of Florida | Slayton W.B.,University of Florida | Rimsza L.M.,University of Arizona | Bailey M.,University of Florida | And 6 more authors.
Neonatology | Year: 2010

Background: Sick neonates frequently develop severe thrombocytopenia. Objective and Methods: In order to test the ability of fetal mice to increase their megakaryocyte size and ploidy in response to thrombocytopenia, we injected an antiplatelet antibody (MWReg30) into pregnant mice daily for 7 days, and into nonpregnant adult mice to serve as controls. After that time, platelet counts were obtained and megakaryocytes in the bone marrow, liver, and spleen were stained with anti-von Willebrand factor antibody, individually measured, and quantified. Results: Our study demonstrated that megakaryocytopoiesis in newborn mice shares many features of human fetal/neonatal megakaryocytopoiesis, including the small size of megakaryocytes. In response to thrombocytopenia, adult mice increased megakaryocyte volume and concentration, primarily in the spleen. Newborn mice, in contrast, increased the megakaryocyte concentration in the spleen, but exhibited no increase in megakaryocyte volume in any of the organs studied. In fact, the megakaryocyte mass was significantly lower in the bone marrow of thrombocytopenic neonates than in age-matched controls. Conclusions: We concluded that fetuses have a limited ability to increase their megakaryocyte mass in response to consumptive thrombocytopenia, compared to adult mice. These observations provide further evidence for the existence of biological differences between fetal/neonatal and adult megakaryocytopoiesis. © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Ferrer-Marin F.,University of Murcia | Stanworth S.,University of Murcia | Josephson C.,University of Murcia | Sola-Visner M.,Enders Research Building
Transfusion | Year: 2013

Thrombocytopenia is a common problem among sick neonates admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. Among neonates, preterm infants are the subgroup at highest risk for thrombocytopenia and hemorrhage, which is frequently intracranial. Although there is no evidence of a relationship between platelet (PLT) count and occurrence of major hemorrhage, preterm infants are commonly transfused prophylactically when PLT counts fall below an arbitrary limit, and this threshold is usually higher than for older infants or adults. This liberal practice has been influenced by the observation that, in vitro, neonatal PLTs are hyporeactive in response to multiple agonists. However, full-term infants exhibit normal to increased primary hemostasis due to factors in neonatal blood that enhance the PLT-vessel wall interaction. Additionally, cardiorespiratory problems are considered the main etiologic factors in the development of neonatal intraventricular hemorrhage. In this review, we will discuss the developmental differences that exist in regard to PLT production and function, as well as in primary hemostasis in preterm and term neonates, and the implications of these developmental differences to transfusion medicine. PLT transfusions are not exempt of risk, and a better understanding of the PLT function and the hemostatic profile of premature infants and their changes over time and in response to illness is the starting point to design randomized controlled trials to define optimal use of PLT transfusions in premature neonates. Without these future trials, the marked disparities in PLT transfusion practice in neonates between hospitals and countries will remain over time. © 2013 American Association of Blood Banks.

Murphy G.F.,Brigham and Womens Hospital | Wilson B.J.,Transplantation Research Center | Wilson B.J.,Brigham and Womens Hospital | Girouard S.D.,Harvard University | And 4 more authors.
Molecular Aspects of Medicine | Year: 2014

Melanoma stem cells, also known as malignant melanoma-initiating cells, are identifiable through expression of specific biomarkers such as ABCB5 (ATP-binding cassette, sub-family B (MDR/TAP), member 5), NGFR (nerve growth factor receptor, CD271) and ALDH (aldehyde dehydrogenase), and drive melanoma initiation and progression based on prolonged self-renewal capacity, vasculogenic differentiation and immune evasion. As we will review here, specific roles of these aggressive subpopulations have been documented in tumorigenic growth, metastatic dissemination, therapeutic resistance, and malignant recurrence. Moreover, recent findings have provided pre-clinical proof-of-concept for the potential therapeutic utility of the melanoma stem cell concept. Therefore, melanoma stem cell-directed therapeutic approaches represent promising novel strategies to improve therapy of this arguably most virulent human cancer. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Liu Z.-J.,Enders Research Building | Hoffmeister K.M.,Brigham and Womens Hospital | Hu Z.,University of Florida | Mager D.E.,State University of New York at Buffalo | And 11 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2014

The fetal/neonatal hematopoietic system must generate enough blood cells to meet the demands of rapid growth. This unique challenge might underlie the high incidence of thrombocytopenia among preterm neonates. In this study, neonatal platelet production and turnover were investigated in newborn mice. Based on a combination of blood volume expansion and increasing platelet counts, the platelet mass increased sevenfold during the first 2 weeks of murine life, a time during which thrombopoiesis shifted from liver to bone marrow. Studies applying in vivo biotinylation and mathematical modeling showed that newborn and adult mice had similar platelet production rates, but neonatal platelets survived 1 day longer in circulation. This prolonged lifespan fully accounted for the rise in platelet counts observed during the second week of murine postnatal life. A study of pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 family proteins showed that neonatal platelets had higher levels of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and were more resistant to apoptosis induced by the Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibitor ABT-737 than adult platelets. However, genetic ablation or pharmacologic inhibition of Bcl-2 alone did not shorten neonatal platelet survival or reduce platelet counts in newborn mice, indicating the existence of redundant or alternative mechanisms mediating the prolonged lifespan of neonatal platelets. © 2014 by The American Society of Hematology.

Liu Z.-J.,Childrens Hospital Boston | Italiano Jr. J.,Brigham and Womens Hospital | Ferrer-Marin F.,Childrens Hospital Boston | Gutti R.,Childrens Hospital Boston | And 5 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2011

Multiple observations support the existence of developmental differences in megakaryocytopoiesis. We have previously shown that neonatal megakaryocyte (MK) progenitors are hyperproliferative and give rise to MKs smaller and of lower ploidy than adult MKs. Based on these characteristics, neonatal MKs have been considered immature. The molecular mechanisms underlying these differences are unclear, but contribute to the pathogenesis of disorders of neonatal megakaryocytopoiesis. In the present study, we demonstrate that low-ploidy neonatal MKs, contrary to traditional belief, are more mature than adult lowploidy MKs. These mature MKs are generated at a 10-fold higher rate than adult MKs, and result from a developmental uncoupling of proliferation, polyploidization, and terminal differentiation. This pattern is associated with up-regulated thrombopoietin (TPO) signaling through mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and elevated levels of full-length GATA-1 and its targets. Blocking of mTOR with rapamycin suppressed the maturation of neonatal MKs without affecting ploidy, in contrast to the synchronous inhibition of polyploidization and cytoplasmic maturation in adult MKs. We propose that these mechanisms allow fetuses/neonates to populate their rapidly expanding bone marrow and intravascular spaces while maintaining normal platelet counts, but also set the stage for disorders restricted to fetal/neonatal MK progenitors, including the Down syndrome-transient myeloproliferative disorder and the thrombocytopenia absent radius syndrome. © 2011 by The American Society of Hematology.

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