Thrombocytosis is associated with inflammation, and certain inflammatory cytokines, including IFN-γ, stimulate megakaryocyte and platelet production. However, the roles of IFN-γ and its downstream effector STAT1 in megakaryocyte development are poorly understood. We previously reported that STAT1 expression was significantly downregulated in Gata1-knockdown murine megakaryocytes, which also have impaired terminal maturation. Here, we show that ectopic expression of STAT1, or its target effector IRF-1, rescued multiple defects in Gata1-deficient megakaryopoiesis in mice, inducing polyploidization and expression of a subset of platelet-expressing genes. Enforced expression of STAT1, IRF-1, or GATA-1 enhanced phosphorylation of STAT1, STAT3, and STAT5 in cultured Gata1-deficient murine megakaryocytes, with concomitant megakaryocyte maturation. In contrast, enhanced thrombopoietin signaling, conferred by enforced expression of constitutively active JAK2 or c-MPL, induced phosphorylation of STAT3 and STAT5, but not STAT1, and failed to rescue megakaryocyte maturation. Finally, megakaryocytes from Stat1–/– mice were defective in polyploidization. Together, these findings reveal a unique role for STAT1 in megakaryopoiesis and provide new insights into how GATA-1 regulates this process. Our studies elucidate potential mechanisms by which various inflammatory disorders can cause elevated platelet counts.
Zan Huang, Terri D. Richmond, Andrew G. Muntean, Dwayne L. Barber, Mitchell J. Weiss, John D. Crispino