Platelets, derived from megakaryocytes, have an essential role in thrombosis and hemostasis. Over the past 10 years, a great deal of new information has been obtained concerning the various aspects of hematopoiesis necessary to maintain a steady-state platelet level to support physiologic hemostasis. Here we discuss the differentiation of HSCs into megakaryocytes, with emphasis on the key cytokine signaling pathways and hematopoietic transcription factors. Recent insight into these processes elucidates the molecular bases of numerous acquired and inherited hematologic disorders. It is anticipated that the growing knowledge in these areas may be exploited for new therapeutic strategies to modulate both platelet numbers and their thrombogenicity.
Liyan Pang, Mitchell J. Weiss, Mortimer Poncz
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