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EMBO J. 2001 Apr 2;20(7):1663-73.

Abnormal angiogenesis but intact hematopoietic potential in TGF-beta type I receptor-deficient mice.

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Molecular Medicine and Gene Therapy, Institute of Laboratory Medicine and Department of Medicine, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


Deletion of the transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1) gene in mice has previously suggested that it regulates both hematopoiesis and angiogenesis. To define the function of TGF-beta more precisely, we inactivated the TGF-beta type I receptor (TbetaRI) gene by gene targeting. Mice lacking TbetaRI die at midgestation, exhibiting severe defects in vascular development of the yolk sac and placenta, and an absence of circulating red blood cells. However, despite obvious anemia in the TbetaRI(-/-) yolk sacs, clonogenic assays on yolk sac-derived hematopoietic precursors in vitro revealed that TbetaRI(-/-) mice exhibit normal hematopoietic potential compared with wild-type and heterozygous siblings. Endothelial cells derived from TbetaRI-deficient embryos show enhanced cell proliferation, improper migratory behavior and impaired fibronectin production in vitro, defects that are associated with the vascular defects seen in vivo. We thus demonstrate here that, while TbetaRI is crucial for the function of TGF-beta during vascular development and can not be compensated for by the activin receptor-like kinase-1 (ALK-1), functional hematopoiesis and development of hematopoietic progenitors is not dependent on TGF-beta signaling via TbetaRI.

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