Microvasculature-directed thrombopoiesis in a 3D in vitro marrow microenvironment.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


PloS one, Volume 13, Issue 4, p.e0195082 (2018)


Electron Microscopy Core Facility


Vasculature is an interface between the circulation and the hematopoietic tissue providing the means for hundreds of billions of blood cells to enter the circulation every day in a regulated fashion. The precise mechanisms that control the interactions of hematopoietic cells with the vessel wall are largely undefined. Here, we report on the development of an in vitro 3D human marrow vascular microenvironment (VME) to study hematopoietic trafficking and the release of blood cells, specifically platelets. We show that mature megakaryocytes from aspirated marrow as well as megakaryocytes differentiated in culture from CD34+ cells can be embedded in a collagen matrix containing engineered microvessels to create a thrombopoietic VME. These megakaryocytes continue to mature, penetrate the vessel wall, and release platelets into the vessel lumen. This process can be blocked with the addition of antibodies specific for CXCR4, indicating that CXCR4 is required for megakaryocyte migration, though whether it is sufficient is unclear. The 3D marrow VME system shows considerable potential for mechanistic studies defining the role of marrow vasculature in thrombopoiesis. Through a stepwise addition or removal of individual marrow components, this model provides potential to define key pathways responsible for the release of platelets and other blood cells.