DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Newly formed platelet (thrombocyte) after megakaryocyte differentiation, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). Platelets are formed in the red bone marrow, lungs, and spleen by fragmentation of megakaryocyte cells. Platelet production begins with the extension of large pseudopodia from the megakaryocyte cell surface that form thin tube-like cytoplasmic extensions called proplatelets. As the proplatelet development continues small platelets are formed along the proplatelet processes. Thrombopoietin plays a role in inducing the megakaryocytes to form small proplatelet processes that then form immature platelets and eventually mature blood platelets. Shown in this image is a newly formed, mature, activated platelet after megakaryocyte differentiation. Mature activated platelets have numerous cytoplasmic extensions and channels of the open canalicular system (OCS) seen in this image. Magnification: x5,335 when shortest axis printed at 25.
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