Journal Article

Effects of radiation on the maturation of megakaryocytes

Katsumi Hirose, Satoru Monzen, Hironori Yoshino, Haruka Sato, Masahiko Aoki, Yoshiomi Hatayama, Hideo Kawaguchi, Mariko Sato, Yuichiro Narita, Yoshihiro TakaI and Ikuo Kashiwakura

in Journal of Radiation Research

Published on behalf of Japan Radiation Research Society and Japanese Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology

Volume 54, issue 3, pages 447-452
Published in print May 2013 | ISSN: 0449-3060
Published online January 2013 | e-ISSN: 1349-9157 | DOI:

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  • Nuclear Chemistry, Photochemistry, and Radiation


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Megakaryocytes are generated by the differentiation of megakaryocytic progenitors; however, little information has been reported regarding how ionizing radiation affects the differentiation pathway and cellular responses. Human leukemia K562 cells have been used as a model to study megakaryocytic differentiation. In the present study, to investigate the effects of radiation on phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA)-induced megakaryocytic differentiation of K562 cells, the cellular processes responsible for the expression of CD41 antigen (GPIIb/IIIa), which is reported to be expressed early in megakaryocyte maturation, were analyzed. The expression of CD41 antigens was significantly increased 72 h after treatment with both 4 Gy X-irradiation and PMA. In this fraction, two populations, CD41low and CD41high cells, were detected by flow cytometry. The CD41high cells sustained intracellular ROS at the initial level for up to 72 h, but CD41low cells had reduced ROS by 48 h. The maximum suppressive effect on CD41 expression was observed when N-acetyl cysteine, which is known to act as a ROS scavenger, was administered 48 h after PMA stimulation. When K562 cells were pretreated with mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway inhibitors, an ERK1/2 inhibitor and a p38 MAPK inhibitor, followed by X-irradiation and PMA stimulation, the reactivity profiles of both inhibitors showed the involvement of MAPK pathway. There is a possibility that the K562 cell population contains at least two types of radiosensitive megakaryocytic progenitors with respect to ROS production mechanisms, and intracellular ROS levels determine the extent of CD41 expression.

Keywords: K562 cells; megakaryocytopoiesis; ROS; MAPK

Journal Article.  2662 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Radiology ; Nuclear Chemistry, Photochemistry, and Radiation