The Ashwell-Morell receptor regulates hepatic thrombopoietin production via JAK2-STAT3 signaling

Nat Med. 2015 Jan;21(1):47-54. doi: 10.1038/nm.3770. Epub 2014 Dec 8.


The hepatic Ashwell-Morell receptor (AMR) can bind and remove desialylated platelets. Here we demonstrate that platelets become desialylated as they circulate and age in blood. Binding of desialylated platelets to the AMR induces hepatic expression of thrombopoietin (TPO) mRNA and protein, thereby regulating platelet production. Endocytic AMR controls TPO expression through Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) and the acute phase response signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) in vivo and in vitro. Recognition of this newly identified physiological feedback mechanism illuminates the pathophysiology of platelet diseases, such as essential thrombocythemia and immune thrombocytopenia, and contributes to an understanding of the mechanisms of thrombocytopenia observed with JAK1/2 inhibition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asialoglycoprotein Receptor / genetics
  • Asialoglycoprotein Receptor / metabolism*
  • Blood Platelets / metabolism*
  • Blood Platelets / pathology
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase 2 / genetics
  • Janus Kinase 2 / metabolism*
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / genetics
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic / pathology
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / genetics
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Thrombocythemia, Essential / genetics
  • Thrombocythemia, Essential / pathology
  • Thrombopoietin / genetics
  • Thrombopoietin / metabolism*


  • ASGR1 protein, human
  • Asialoglycoprotein Receptor
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Thrombopoietin
  • JAK2 protein, human
  • Janus Kinase 2