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Eur J Immunol. 2001 Nov;31(11):3240-7.

Distinct and regulated expression of Notch receptors in hematopoietic lineages and during myeloid differentiation.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, University Hospital MAS, Malmö, Sweden.


Hematopoietic development is a delicate balance of cell fate decisions in multipotent cells between self-renewal and differentiation. In multiple developmental systems, the Notch receptors are important factors regulating these processes. Hematopoietic progenitor cells have been shown to express Notch1, and studies with an activated intracellular form has revealed a functional role. To assess the function of other Notch members in hematopoiesis, we investigated the expression pattern of Notch1, Notch2, and Notch3 in hematopoietic lineages at the level of RNA and protein. We demonstrate that Notch1 and Notch2 are expressed in multiple lineages, and that Notch1 in particular appears to be regulated during myeloid differentiation. Notch1 was up-regulated and expressed at high levels in adherent macrophages. Mast cells expressed only low levels of Notch1 mRNA whereas Notch2 mRNA was highly expressed. In addition we could detect Notch3 mRNA and protein in cell lines representing mast cell progenitors. These expression patterns imply that the different Notch genes may have very distinct functions during hematopoiesis, and that Notch3 could be a specific regulator of mast cell development. The finding that Notch1 was up-regulated in the adherent cells developing from a multipotent progenitor cell line suggests that this protein may posses dual functions in hematopoiesis, i.e. at the stage of cell fate decision, and at the maturation stage of monocytes when adhesion to the specific microenvironment is accomplished.

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