The term "thrombocytopoiesis" is sometimes used to emphasize the cellular nature.
Thrombopoietin stimulates megakaryopoiesis, the process of megakaryocyte maturation and differentiation. Thrombopoietin, upon release, binds to its receptor, c-mpl, found on megakaryocyte progenitor cells. Following binding, intracellular signalling leads to megakaryocyte growth, maturation, membrane stability, platelet granule formation and the demarcation of the cytoplasm into regions destined to fragment into mature platelets. These "proplatelet processes" further fragment into platelets. This last step of proplatelet process and platelet formation, in vitro, has been shown to be independent of thrombopoietin.
- Thrombopoiesis at the US National Library of Medicine Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)
- SCHULMAN I, PIERCE M, LUKENS A, CURRIMBHOY Z (July 1960). "Studies on thrombopoiesis. I. A factor in normal human plasma required for platelet production; chronic thrombocytopenia due to its deficiency". Blood. 16: 943–57. PMID 14443744.