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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Oct 28;100(22):12753-8. Epub 2003 Oct 6.

Requirement for the TIE family of receptor tyrosine kinases in adult but not fetal hematopoiesis.

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Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute, Program in Molecular Biology and Cancer, Mount Sinai Hospital, 600 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5G 1X5.


In mammals, the continuous production of hematopoietic cells (HCs) is sustained by a small number of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) residing in the bone marrow. Early HSC activity arises in the aorta-gonad mesonephros region, within cells localized to the ventral floor of the major blood vessels, suggesting that the first HSCs may be derived from cells capable of giving rise to the hematopoietic system and to the endothelial cells of the vasculature. TIE1 (TIE) and TIE2 (TEK) are related receptor tyrosine kinases with an embryonic expression pattern in endothelial cells, their precursors, and HCs, suggestive of a role in the divergence and function of both lineages. Indeed, gene targeting approaches have shown that TIE1, TIE2, and ligands for TIE2, the angiopoietins, are essential for vascular development and maintenance. To explore possible roles for these receptors in HCs, we have examined the ability of embryonic cells lacking both TIE1 and TIE2 to contribute to developmental and adult hematopoiesis by generating chimeric animals between normal embryonic cells and cells lacking these receptors. We show here that TIE receptors are not required for differentiation and proliferation of definitive hematopoietic lineages in the embryo and fetus; surprisingly, however, these receptors are specifically required during postnatal bone marrow hematopoiesis.

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