Lin28b regulates age-dependent differences in murine platelet function

Massiel Chavez Stolla, Seana C. Catherman, Paul D. Kingsley, R. Grant Rowe, Anne D. Koniski, Katherine Fegan, Leah Vit, Kathleen E. McGrath, George Q. Daley and James Palis

Key Points

  • Fetal murine platelets have low levels of P-selectin and do not readily associate with neutrophils in vitro and in vivo.

  • Lin28b is highly expressed in fetal murine megakaryocytes and negatively regulates the expression of platelet P-selectin.


Platelets are essential for hemostasis; however, several studies have identified age-dependent differences in platelet function. To better understand the origins of fetal platelet function, we have evaluated the contribution of the fetal-specific RNA binding protein Lin28b in the megakaryocyte/platelet lineage. Because activated fetal platelets have very low levels of P-selectin, we hypothesized that the expression of platelet P-selectin is part of a fetal-specific hematopoietic program conferred by Lin28b. Using the mouse as a model, we find that activated fetal platelets have low levels of P-selectin and do not readily associate with granulocytes in vitro and in vivo, relative to adult controls. Transcriptional analysis revealed high levels of Lin28b and Hmga2 in fetal, but not adult, megakaryocytes. Overexpression of LIN28B in adult mice significantly reduces the expression of P-selectin in platelets, and therefore identifies Lin28b as a negative regulator of P-selectin expression. Transplantation of fetal hematopoietic progenitors resulted in the production of platelets with low levels of P-selectin, suggesting that the developmental regulation of P-selectin is intrinsic and independent of differences between fetal and adult microenvironments. Last, we observe that the upregulation of P-selectin expression occurs postnatally, and the temporal kinetics of this upregulation are recapitulated by transplantation of fetal hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells into adult recipients. Taken together, these studies identify Lin28b as a new intrinsic regulator of fetal platelet function.

  • Submitted May 10, 2018.
  • Accepted November 29, 2018.
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