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Immunity. 2004 Jul;21(1):31-41.

Endothelial and hematopoietic cell fate of human embryonic stem cells originates from primitive endothelium with hemangioblastic properties.

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Robarts Research Institute, Krembil Centre for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, 100 Perth Drive, London, Ontario N6A 5K8, Canada.


The cellular organization and relationships among precursors that initiate embryonic angiogenesis and hematopoiesis in the human have yet to be characterized. Here, we identify a subpopulation of primitive endothelial-like cells derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) that express PECAM-1, Flk-1, and VE-cadherin, but not CD45 (CD45negPFV cells), and that are uniquely responsible for endothelial and hematopoietic development. Molecular profiling of CD45negPFV cells is consistent with endothelial and hematopoietic competency. Clonal isolation demonstrates that the CD45negPFV population includes bipotent cells with endothelial and hematopoietic capacity. We suggest that human hematopoiesis and endothelial maturation originate exclusively from a subset of embryonic endothelium that possesses hemangioblastic properties and offers a model system to study these lineage relationships in the human.

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