Two prospectively studied patients with polycythemia vera (PV) whose platelet counts showed marked periodic fluctuation during treatment with hydroxyurea (HU) are reported. Cycle lengths in both were approximately 28 to 30 days. In one patient, the cyclic process was no longer evident when treatment with HU was with-held, and it reappeared on treatment rechallenge. Circulating thrombopoietin (TPO) levels fluctuated out of phase with the platelet count despite markedly reduced TPO-receptor (c-Mpl) expression in bone marrow megakaryocytes. These observations suggest that the cyclic phenomenon may be related to both a transient state of HU-induced depletion of megakaryocytes and a concentration-dependent mitigation by TPO of the HU effect on megakaryocytes and their precursors. It is conceivable that the affected patients harbor a megakaryocyte progenitor pool whose apoptotic activity is differently modulated by either HU or high concentrations of TPO. (C) 2000 by The American Society of Hematology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology