Thrombocytopenia is an important complication of interferon (IFN) therapy for chronic viral hepatitis. To study whether IFN interferes with hepatic thrombopoietin (TPO) synthesis, we used the human hepatoma cell line HepG2. Our results show that IFN-α, IFN-β, or IFN-γ did not impair TPO mRNA expression, as determined by quantitative RT-PCR, even when high IFN doses (up to 5000 U/ml) or long-term incubations (up to 14 days) were applied. Neither was the rate of secretion of immunoreactive TPO reduced on IFN treatment. These findings support the concept that IFNs primarily mediate effects on megakaryocytic cells and platelets rather than on TPO-producing hepatocytes.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)