Issue 16, Volume 128

Cover Figure: Bone marrow stiffness influences megakaryocyte proliferation and maturation See the article by Aguilar et al.

WASHINGTON, October 20, 2016 – Welcome to “This Week in Blood,” a weekly snapshot of the hottest studies from each week’s issue of Blood, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH), hand-picked by Blood Editor-in-Chief Bob Löwenberg, MD, PhD, and Deputy Editor Nancy Berliner, MD.

Importance of environmental stiffness for megakaryocyte differentiation and proplatelet formation
Aguilar and colleagues study the influence of the bone marrow matrix for megakaryocyte differentiation. Studies in myosin-deficient progenitors demonstrate that myosin is critical for transmitting the effect of bone marrow stiffness to megakaryocytes to improve maturation, ploidy, and proplatelet formation.

Fecal microbiota transplantation for patients with steroid-resistant acute graft-versus-host disease of the gut
Kakihana and colleagues report a pilot study of fecal microbiota transplantation in 4 patients with steroid-resistant gut acute graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD). The procedure was well tolerated and all patients improved, including 3 complete responses.

T cells from hemophilia A subjects recognize the same HLA-restricted FVIII epitope with a narrow TCR repertoire

High-affinity, non-inhibitory pathogenic C1 domain antibodies are present in patients with hemophilia A and inhibitors
Two papers in this week’s Blood provide novel insights into the characteristics of factor VIII (FVIII) inhibitors, the most serious complication of the treatment of hemophilia A. In the first, Ettinger and colleagues studied the antigen specificity of T cells from 3 hemophilia A patients with FVIII inhibitors. They report the remarkable result that all patients had oligoclonal immune responses to the same single epitope from the C2 domain of FVIII. In the second paper, Batsuli and colleagues report on a different subset of FVIII inhibitors that recognize epitopes in the C1 domain that do not neutralize FVIII, but increase FVIII clearance. 

Blockade of interleukin-27 signaling reduces GVHD in mice by augmenting Treg reconstitution and stabilizing FOXP3 expression
Belle and colleagues present data suggesting a novel target for the prevention of GVHD. They demonstrate in a mouse model that inhibition of interleukin-27 prevents murine GVHD by in vivo expansion of immunosuppressive regulatory T cells.

Life in the shadow of a dominant partner: the FVIII-VWF association and its clinical implications for hemophilia A
Considerable efforts are being exerted to create FVIII products with prolonged survival to improve prophylactic therapy of hemophilia A. Pipe and colleagues provide an incisive review of the importance of the FVIII-VWF interaction in limiting FVIII half-life and supporting the need for strategies to prolong the survival of VWF.


This week's complete table of contents

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