JAK2V617F mutation and spontaneous megakaryocytic or erythroid colony formation in patients with essential thrombocythaemia (ET) or polycythaemia vera (PV)

Leuk Res. 2009 Jan;33(1):54-9. doi: 10.1016/j.leukres.2008.07.008. Epub 2008 Aug 28.


The in vitro cultures of erythroid (BFU-E) and megakaryocytic (CFU-Meg) progenitors have been useful diagnostic tools in myeloproliferative disorders (MPD). However, after the discovery of the JAK2V617F mutation, their diagnostic role has been uncertain. In this single-centre retrospective study we analyzed JAK2V617F mutation in 58 ET and 42 PV patients diagnosed according to WHO criteria and compared the results with those of colony forming assays with special emphasis on CFU-Meg growth. 91% of PV and 57% of ET patients had JAK2V617F mutation and they all showed spontaneous BFU-E growth. However, endogenous BFU-E formation was also seen in nine JAK2V617F mutation negative patients displaying also a normal JAK2 exon 12 allele. Endogeneous CFU-Meg colony formation was found in 59% of PV and 53% of the ET patients. A subgroup of ET patients (n=7) displayed sole spontaneous CFU-Meg growth without spontaneous BFU-E growth. They all were JAK2 mutation negative, but one of them had MPL mutation. In conclusion, in vitro cultures of haematopoietic progenitors are sensitive diagnostic tools in the present group of 100 MPD patients revealing also JAK2 mutation negative ET and PV patients displaying sole spontaneous CFU-Meg or BFU-E growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase 2 / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation*
  • Polycythemia Vera / genetics
  • Polycythemia Vera / pathology*
  • Thrombocythemia, Essential / genetics
  • Thrombocythemia, Essential / pathology*


  • DNA Primers
  • JAK2 protein, human
  • Janus Kinase 2