Annals of Hematology

, Volume 91, Issue 11, pp 1673–1684 | Cite as

miRNAs can increase the efficiency of ex vivo platelet generation

  • Stephan Emmrich
  • Kerstin Henke
  • Jan Hegermann
  • Matthias Ochs
  • Dirk Reinhardt
  • Jan-Henning KlusmannEmail author
Original Article


The process of megakaryopoiesis culminates in the release of platelets, the pivotal cellular component for hemostasis and wound healing. The regulatory architecture including the modulatory role of microRNAs, which underlies megakaryocytic maturation and platelet formation, is incompletely understood, precluding the ex vivo generation of sufficient platelet numbers for transfusion medicine. We derived a highly efficient differentiation protocol to produce mature polyploid megakaryocytes and functional platelets from CD34+-hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells by comparing previously published approaches. Our megakaryocytic culture conditions using the cytokines SCF, TPO, IL-9, and IL-6 include nicotinamide and Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) inhibitor Y27632 as contextual additives. The potency of our novel megakaryocytic differentiation protocol was validated using cord blood and peripheral blood human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Using this novel megakaryocytic differentiation protocol, we characterized the modulatory capacity of several miRNAs highly expressed in normal megakaryocytic cells or malignant blasts from patients with megakaryoblastic leukemia. Overexpression of candidate microRNAs was achieved by lentiviral transduction of CD34+-hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells prior to differentiation. We revealed miR-125b and miR-660 as enhancers of polyploidization, as well as platelet output of megakaryocytes. The oncogene miR-125b markedly expanded the number of megakaryocytes during in vitro culture. Conversely, the miR-23a/27a/24-2 cluster, which is highly expressed in normal megakaryocytes, blocked maturation and platelet formation. Our study on the utilization of microRNAs in conjunction with a highly efficient differentiation protocol constitutes another step towards ex vivo platelet manufacturing on a clinically relevant scale.


Thrombopoiesis Megakaryopoiesis miRNA AMKL 



The authors would like to thank K. Boehmer for technical assistance; J. Schoening for general lab support; Drs. K. Weber and B. Fehse for providing plasmids; Dr. Z. Li and B. Groß for critically reading the manuscript. S.E. and K.H. were supported by the Hannover Biomedical Research School. J.H.K is a fellow of the Emmy Noether-Programme from the German National Academic Foundation (KL-2374/2-1). This work was supported by grants to J.H.K. and D.R. from the German National Academic Foundation (KL-2374/1-1 and RE-2580/2-1).

Supplementary material

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ESM 1 (PDF 625 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephan Emmrich
    • 1
  • Kerstin Henke
    • 1
  • Jan Hegermann
    • 2
  • Matthias Ochs
    • 2
  • Dirk Reinhardt
    • 1
  • Jan-Henning Klusmann
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric Hematology and OncologyHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Functional and Applied AnatomyHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany

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