The clinical courses of polycythemia vera (PV) and essential thrombocythemia (ET) are characterized by thrombohemorrhagic diathesis. Several groups have suggested an association between JAK2V617F mutation and thrombosis. We hypothesized a relationship between JAK2V617F allele burden, cellular activation parameters, and thrombosis. We evaluated a group of PV and ET patients using flow cytometry: platelet CD62P, CD63, and dense granules, platelet–leukocyte aggregates (PLA), leukocyte CD11b and monocyte tissue factor (TF) expression. All patients had increased baseline platelet CD62P and CD63 expression (p < 0.05); 71 % of PV and 47 % of ET presented with a storage pool disease. Leukocyte CD11b, TF, and PLA were elevated in all patients. TF was higher in PV compared to ET (p < 0.05) and platelet–neutrophil [polymorphonuclear (PMN)] aggregates were increased in ET versus PV (p < 0.05). In ET, PLA were correlated with platelet numbers (p < 0.05). In all patients, JAK2V617F allele burden was directly correlated with monocyte CD11b. Patients with JAK2V617F allele burden >50 % presented higher levels of leukocyte activation. In ET, thrombosis was associated with JAK2V617F mutation (p < 0.05, χ2 = 5.2), increased monocyte CD11b (p < 0.05) and with platelet-PMN aggregates (p < 0.05). In ET patients, hydroxyurea does not significantly reduce the activation parameters. Our data demonstrate that JAK2V617F allele burden is directly correlated with activation parameters that drive mechanisms that favor thrombosis.
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This study was supported by the Grant PTDC/SAU-GMG/74375/2006 from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, FCT, Portugal.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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