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Pathol Biol (Paris). 1999 Apr;47(4):307-13.

[Endothelial cell precursors in the avian embryo].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Institut d'Embryologie Cellulaire et Mol├ęculaire du CNRS et du Coll├Ęge de France, Nogent-sur-Marne, France.


Whereas the origin and migration of endothelial cells (ECs) have been studied primarily in the avian embryo, the molecular mechanisms governing these events in birds and mammals were unraveled following the identification of specific growth factors and of their receptors. In particular, analytic and experimental studies of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors have provided significant insights into the developmental biology of the vascular system. VEGFR2 is the earliest marker expressed by EC precursors in chickens and mice. Based on the localization of VEGFR2-positive cells in the avian embryo and on findings from clonal culture experiments, two types of EC precursors can be differentiated as early as the gastrulation stage, namely posterior mesoderm hemangioblasts capable of differentiating into both ECs and hematopoietic cells and anterior angioblasts capable of yielding only ECs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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