The effect of thrombopoietin (TPO) on the functional activity of surface alpha IIb beta 3 (GPIIbIIIa) was investigated in both primary human megakaryocytic cells, derived from peripheral blood CD34+ cells, and HEL hematopoietic cell line. TPO (100 ng/mL) induced a sixfold to ninefold enhancement of adhesion of both primary megakaryocytic and HEL cells to plates coated with either fibrinogen or fibronectin and a parallel increase of immunoreactivity to the PAC1 monoclonal antibody (MoAb) and fluorescein isothiocyanate-fibrinogen, both of which recognize an activated state of alpha IIb beta 3. The enhanced adhesion to fibrinogen or fibronectin was mediated by the Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) recognition sequence of alpha IIb beta 3, as it was abolished by pretreatment of cells with saturating concentrations of RGDS peptide. A MoAb specific for the alpha IIb beta subunit of alpha IIb beta 3 also inhibited cell attachment to fibrinogen or fibronectin, while MoAb to anti-alpha v beta 3 or anti-alpha 5 integrins were completely ineffective, clearly indicating that alpha IIb beta 3 participates in this association. A role for PI 3 kinase (PI 3-K) in the TPO-mediated increase in alpha IIb beta 3 function in megakaryocytic cells was suggested by the ability of the PI 3-K inhibitor wortmannin (100 nmol/L) and antisense oligonucleotides directed against the p85 regulatory subunit of PI 3-K to completely block the TPO-induced increase in alpha IIb beta 3 integrin activity upon TPO stimulation. The modulation of adhesiveness to extracellular matrix proteins containing the RGD motif mediated by TPO likely plays a physiologic role in megakaryocytopoiesis, as pretreatment of CD34+ cells with RGDS or anti-alpha IIb MoAb significantly reduced the number of megakaryocytic colonies obtained in a fibrinclot semisolid assay.
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