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Lipids contribute to hematopoiesis and membrane properties and dynamics, however, little is known about the role of lipids in megakaryopoiesis. Here, a lipidomic analysis of megakaryocyte progenitors, megakaryocytes, and platelets revealed a unique lipidome progressively enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA)-containing phospholipids. In vitro, inhibition of both exogenous fatty acid functionalization and uptake and de novo lipogenesis impaired megakaryocyte differentiation and proplatelet production. In vivo, mice on a high saturated fatty acid diet had significantly lower platelet counts, which was prevented by eating a PUFA-enriched diet. Fatty acid uptake was largely dependent on CD36, and its deletion in mice resulted in thrombocytopenia. Moreover, patients with a CD36 loss-of-function mutation exhibited thrombocytopenia and increased bleeding. Our results suggest that fatty acid uptake and regulation is essential for megakaryocyte maturation and platelet production, and that changes in dietary fatty acids may be a novel and viable target to modulate platelet counts.

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