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Flt3/Flk-2 ligand in combination with thrombopoietin decreases apoptosis in megakaryocyte developmentThe growth factors thrombopoietin (TPO) and Flt3/Flk-2-ligand (FL), either independently or in combination, modulate megakaryocyte development. Our results show that bone marrow CD34+ cells cultured with TPO and FL differentiate at a slower rate into CD41+ cells and are delayed in apoptosis at the later stages of the cultures compared to cells cultured with TPO alone. Our data also show that FL in synergy with TPO may inhibit apoptosis in megakaryocyte development by up-regulating bcl-2 and inducing conformational changes of p53, in MK progenitors. FL in combination with TPO slows down maturation and consequently delays apoptosis of MK progenitor cells.