Study of Bernard-Soulier Syndrome Megakaryocytes and Platelets Using Patient-Derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Thromb Haemost. 2019 Sep;119(9):1461-1470. doi: 10.1055/s-0039-1693409. Epub 2019 Jul 28.


Bernard-Soulier syndrome (BSS) is a hereditary macrothrombocytopenia caused by defects in the glycoprotein (GP) Ib-IX-V complex. The mechanism of giant platelet formation remains undefined. Currently, megakaryocytes (MKs) can be generated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to study platelet production under pharmacological or genetic manipulations. Here, we generated iPSC lines from two BSS patients with mutations in different genes (GP1BA and GP1BB: termed BSS-A and BSS-B, respectively). The iPSC-derived MKs and platelets were examined under electron microscopy and stained by immunofluorescence to observe proplatelet formation and measure platelet diameters which were defined by circumferential tubulin. BSS-iPSCs produced abnormal proplatelets with thick shafts and tips. In addition, compared with the normal iPSCs, the diameters were larger in platelets derived from BSS-A and BSS-B with the means ± standard deviations of 4.34 ± 0.043 and 3.88 ± 0.045 µm, respectively (wild-type iPSCs 2.61 ± 0.025 µm, p < 0.001). Electron microscopy revealed giant platelets with the abnormal demarcation membrane system. Correction of BSS-A and BSS-B-iPSCs using lentiviral vectors containing respective GP1BA and GP1BB genes improved proplatelet structures and platelet ultrastructures as well as reduced platelets sizes. In conclusion, the iPSC model can be used to explore molecular mechanisms and potential therapy for BSS.

MeSH terms

  • Bernard-Soulier Syndrome / genetics
  • Bernard-Soulier Syndrome / pathology*
  • Bernard-Soulier Syndrome / therapy
  • Blood Coagulation / genetics
  • Blood Platelets / physiology*
  • Blood Platelets / ultrastructure
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure*
  • Cell Shape / genetics
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy
  • Cellular Reprogramming Techniques
  • Female
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / ultrastructure
  • Lentivirus / genetics
  • Megakaryocytes / physiology*
  • Megakaryocytes / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIb-IX Complex / genetics
  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIb-IX Complex / metabolism*


  • Platelet Glycoprotein GPIb-IX Complex
  • adhesion receptor