• megakaryocyte;
  • IL-8 production;
  • TPO;
  • IL-1;
  • cord blood

In a serum-free liquid culture, thrombopoietin (TPO) selectively stimulated the growth of megakaryocytic cells from CD34-positive cord blood cells. Using these cultured cells, we investigated cytokine production by human megakaryocytes. Day 10 megakaryocytes (2 × 105) secreted > 1000 pg/ml of interleukin (IL)-8, in contrast to small amounts of IL-1β and IL-6. A time-course study showed that the IL-8 production of megakaryocytes occurred at the late phase of the culture period. The megakaryocyte-conditioned medium had the chemotactic potential of polymorphonuclear leucocytes, which was abrogated by the addition of anti-IL-8 antibody, suggesting the secretion of biologically active IL-8. The combination of TPO and IL-1α was required for a significant augmentation of the IL-8 secretion. Direct evidence for IL-8 synthesis in megakaryocytes was provided by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction on purified CD41b+ cells and by the detection of intracellular IL-8 in CD41b+ cells. These results suggest that TPO stimulates not only the proliferation and differentiation of the progenitors capable of megakaryocytic lineage expression but also IL-8 release by the megakaryocytic cells with the aid of IL-1.