Megakaryocytes co-localise with hemopoietic stem cells and release cytokines that up-regulate stem cell proliferation Academic Article uri icon


  • We report transplanted hemopoietic stem cells (HSC) preferentially lodge within two cells of mature megakaryocytes (MM). With both populations comprising ~0.2% of bone marrow cells, this strongly suggests a key functional interaction. HSC isolated from the endosteum (eLSKSLAM) showed significantly increased hemopoietic cell proliferation while in co-culture with MM. Furthermore, eLSKSLAM progeny retained HSC potential, maintaining long-term multi-lineage reconstitution capacity in lethally ablated recipients. Increased hemopoietic cell proliferation was not MM contact dependent and could be recapitulated with media supplemented with two factors identified in MM-conditioned media: insulin-like growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). We demonstrate that HSC express the receptor for IGF-1 and that IGF-1/IGFBP-3 induced increased hemopoietic cell proliferation can be blocked by an anti-IGF-1 neutralising antibody. However, co-cultures of 8N, 16N or 32N MM with eLSKSLAM showed that MM of individual ploidy did not significantly increase hemopoietic cell proliferation. Our data suggests that MM are an important component of the HSC niche and regulate hemopoietic cell proliferation through cytokine release.


  • Heazlewood, Shen Y
  • Neaves, Rebecca J
  • Williams, Brenda
  • Haylock, David N
  • Adams, Timothy E
  • Nilsson, Susan K

publication date

  • 2013