Src-related thrombocytopenia: a fine line between a megakaryocyte dysfunction and an immune-mediated disease

Blood Adv. 2022 Sep 13;6(17):5244-5255. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2021005446.


Src-related thrombocytopenia (SRC-RT) is a rare autosomal dominant, inherited platelet disorder resulting from the p.E527K heterozygous germline gain-of-function variant of Src. To date, genetic diagnosis of the disease has only been reported in 7 patients from 3 unrelated families. The clinical features ranged from isolated thrombocytopenia to complex syndromic manifestations characterized by thrombocytopenia, bleeding, myelofibrosis, splenomegaly, and bone disease. We report a new 3-generation kindred with the Src p.E527K variant. Patients presented with rather variable platelet counts (38-139 × 109/L), mildly impaired platelet function, >15% immature platelet fraction, and with a significant proportion of large-giant platelets. Four adults from the family were diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and underwent splenectomy, achieving sustained platelet counts >75 × 109/L for several years; increases in platelet counts were also observed after corticosteroid therapy. Four of 7 Src p.E527K variant carriers showed immune defects and recurrent infections. In addition, a range of neurological symptoms, from specific language impairment to epilepsy, was seen in some family members. Patient platelets exhibited constitutive Src, Bruton tyrosine kinase, and phospholipase Cγ2 activation, and after stimulating CD19 cells by crosslinking surface immunoglobulin M, phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) was significantly increased in B cells from individuals carrying the Src p.E527K substitution. In summary, in addition to causing impaired platelet production, SRC-RT may associate immune dysregulation and increased platelet consumption. In families in whom several members are responsive to ITP-directed therapies, an underlying Src p.E527K variant should be excluded.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Blood Platelets
  • Humans
  • Megakaryocytes
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic* / diagnosis
  • Purpura, Thrombocytopenic, Idiopathic* / genetics
  • Thrombocytopenia* / genetics
  • Thrombopoiesis