The primary disease process in myelofibrosis with myeloid metaplasia (MMM) is clonal myeloproliferation with varying degrees of phenotypic differentiation. This is characteristically accompanied by secondary intramedullary collagen fibrosis, osteosclerosis, angiogenesis, and extramedullary hematopoiesis. Modern clonality studies have confirmed the multipotent stem-cell origin of the neoplastic process in MMM. The nature of the specific oncogenic mutation(s) is currently being unraveled with the recent discovery of an association between a somatic point mutation of JAK2 tyrosine kinase (V617F) and bcr/abl-negative myeloproliferative disorders, including MMM. The pathogenetic mechanisms that underlie the secondary bone marrow stromal changes in MMM are also incompletely understood. Mouse models of this latter disease aspect have been constructed by either in vivo overexpression of thrombopoietin (TPOhigh mice) or megakaryocyte lineage restricted underexpression of the transcription factor GATA-1 (GATA-1low mice). Gene knockout experiments using such animal models have suggested the essential role of hematopoietic cell-derived transforming growth factor beta1 in inducing bone marrow fibrosis and stromal cell-derived osteoprotegerin in promoting osteosclerosis. However, experimental myelofibrosis in mice does not recapitulate clonal myeloproliferation that is fundamental to human MMM. Other cytokines that are implicated in mediating myelofibrosis and angiogenesis in MMM include basic fibroblast, platelet-derived, and vascular endothelial growth factors. It is currently assumed that such cytokines are abnormally released from clonal megakaryocytes as a result of a pathologic interaction with neutrophils (eg, emperipolesis). This latter phenomenon, through neutrophil-derived elastase, could also underlie the abnormal peripheral-blood egress of myeloid progenitors in MMM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research