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Publication in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences by Dr. André Cronemberger-Andrade, a.o. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Katharina Schallmoser, MSc and Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dirk Strunk

Improving Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Megakaryocyte Differentiation and Platelet Production

Several protocols exist for generating megakaryocytes (MKs) and platelets from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) with limited efficiency. We observed previously that mesoderm induction improved endothelial and stromal differentiation. We, therefore, hypothesized that a protocol modification prior to hemogenic endothelial cell (HEC) differentiation will improve MK progenitor (MKP) production and increase platelet output. We further asked if basic media composition affects MK maturation. In an iterative process, we first compared two HEC induction protocols. We found significantly more HECs using the modified protocol including activin A and CHIR99021, resulting in significantly increased MKs. MKs released comparable platelet amounts irrespective of media conditions. In a final validation phase, we obtained five-fold more platelets per hiPSC with the modified protocol (235 ± 84) compared to standard conditions (51 ± 15; p < 0.0001). The regenerative potency of hiPSC-derived platelets was compared to adult donor-derived platelets by profiling angiogenesis-related protein expression. Nineteen of 24 angiogenesis-related proteins were expressed equally, lower or higher in hiPSC-derived compared to adult platelets. The hiPSC-platelet’s coagulation hyporeactivity compared to adult platelets was confirmed by thromboelastometry. Further stepwise improvement of hiPSC-platelet production will, thus, permit better identification of platelet-mediated regenerative mechanisms and facilitate manufacture of sufficient amounts of functional platelets for clinical application. [get the paper]