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Blood. 2003 Dec 15;102(13):4345-53. Epub 2003 Jul 31.

Primary endothelial cells isolated from the yolk sac and para-aortic splanchnopleura support the expansion of adult marrow stem cells in vitro.

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Herman B. Wells Center for Pediatric Research, Cancer Research Institute, 1044 W Walnut St, R4-419, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.


The embryonic origin and development of hematopoietic and endothelial cells is highly interdependent. We hypothesized that primary endothelial cells from murine yolk sac and para-aortic splanchnopleura (P-Sp) may possess the capacity to expand hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and progenitor cells ex vivo. Using Tie2-GFP transgenic mice in combination with fluorochrome-conjugated monoclonal antibodies to vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (Flk1) and CD41, we have successfully isolated pure populations of primary endothelial cells from 9.5-days after coitus (dpc) yolk sac and P-Sp. Adult murine bone marrow Sca-1+c-Kit+lin- cells were cocultured with yolk sac or P-Sp Tie2-GFP+Flk-1+CD41- endothelial cell monolayers for 7 days and the total number of nonadherent cells increased 47- and 295-fold, respectively, and hematopoietic progenitor counts increased 9.4- and 11.4-fold, respectively. Both the yolk sac and P-Sp endothelial cell cocultures facilitated long-term (> 6 months) HSC competitive repopulating ability (2.8- to 9.8-fold increases, respectively). These data suggest that 9.5-dpc yolk sac- and P-Sp-derived primary Tie2-GFP+Flk-1+CD41- endothelial cells possess the capacity to expand adult bone marrow hematopoietic progenitor cell and HSC repopulating ability ex vivo.

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