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Dev Biol. 2003 Oct 1;262(1):162-72.

Circulating blood island-derived cells contribute to vasculogenesis in the embryo proper.

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Cardiovascular Developmental Biology Center, Department of Cell Biology, Medical University of South Carolina, 171 Ashley Avenue, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


While recent findings have established that cells derived from the bone marrow can contribute to vasculogenesis in the adult, it is unclear whether an analogous population of cells in the embryo can also contribute to vasculogenesis. Using a retroviral labeling strategy, we demonstrate that circulating blood island-derived cells contribute to the genesis of both extra- and intraembryonic blood vessels in the early quail embryo. This finding establishes that vasculogenesis in the embryo is a composite of two processes: the direct in situ formation of blood vessels from mesodermally derived angioblasts and the incorporation and differentiation of circulating endothelial cell progenitors into forming embryonic blood vessels.

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