- •PGRN was preferentially expressed in plasma of ITP patients over healthy controls.
- •PGRN facilitates the increase of platelet count in ITP murine models.
- •PGRN may exert effects in ITP by promoting Treg proliferation.
Progranulin (PGRN) is emerging as a critical immune mediator involved in a variety of autoimmune disorders. However, its role in immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) remains unclear.
Materials and methods
In this study, the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used for determining the plasma levels of PGRN in ITP patients vs. healthy controls. In addition, the role of PGRN in ITP was investigated in two kinds of ITP murine models. Further, we explored whether PGRN functioned by affecting the number of T regulatory cells (Tregs) using flow cytometry.
We first observed that plasma levels of PGRN were significantly elevated in ITP patients (n = 52) compared to healthy controls (n = 40), and the levels of PGRN declined in patients after receiving treatment. Additionally, we found a negative correlation between plasma PGRN levels and platelet count of ITP patients, suggesting that PGRN is involved in the pathogenesis of ITP. PGRN deficiency further decreased platelet count in a passive-transfer ITP murine model. By contrast, administration of recombinant PGRN increased platelet count in SCID mice with chronic ITP. Meanwhile, PGRN deficiency impaired proliferation of Tregs in the passive transfer ITP murine model. These data suggest that PGRN may exert a protective role in ITP by promoting Treg proliferation.
Our study revealed a new regulator involved in the pathogenesis of ITP and provided a potential strategy for management of ITP.
Abbreviations:CTLs (CD8+ T lymphocytes), ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), ITP (immune thrombocytopenia), IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), OA (osteoarthritis), PGRN (progranulin), rPGRN (recombinant progranulin), RA (rheumatoid arthritis), SLE (systemic lupus erythematous), Th (T helper cells), Tregs (T regulatory cells), TNFα (tumor necrosis factor-α), TNFRs (tumor necrosis factor-α receptors), SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency), SEM (standard error of mean), PBMCs (peripheral blood mononuclear cells), TGFβ1 (transforming growth factor-β1)
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Published online: February 17, 2018
Accepted: February 16, 2018
Received in revised form: January 22, 2018
Received: November 19, 2017
© 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd.