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Development. 2003 Sep;130(18):4393-403.

CD41 expression defines the onset of primitive and definitive hematopoiesis in the murine embryo.

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Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA.


The platelet glycoprotein IIb (alpha(IIb); CD41) constitutes the alpha subunit of a highly expressed platelet surface integrin protein. We demonstrate that CD41 serves as the earliest marker of primitive erythroid progenitor cells in the embryonic day 7 (E7.0) yolk sac and high-level expression identifies essentially all E8.25 yolk sac definitive hematopoietic progenitors. Some definitive hematopoietic progenitor cells in the fetal liver and bone marrow also express CD41. Hematopoietic stem cell competitive repopulating ability is present in CD41(dim) and CD41(lo/-) cells isolated from bone marrow and fetal liver cells, however, activity is enriched in the CD41(lo/-) cells. CD41(bright) yolk sac definitive progenitor cells co-express CD61 and bind fibrinogen, demonstrating receptor function. Thus, CD41 expression marks the onset of primitive and definitive hematopoiesis in the murine embryo and persists as a marker of some stem and progenitor cell populations in the fetal liver and adult marrow, suggesting novel roles for this integrin.

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