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Mech Dev. 1995 Sep;53(1):97-112.

The angiogenic potentials of the cephalic mesoderm and the origin of brain and head blood vessels.

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Institut d'Embryologie Cellulaire et Mol├ęculaire du CNRS et du Coll├Ęge de France, UMR 9924, Nogent-sur-Marne, France.


We have used two molecular markers to label blood vessel endothelial cells and their precursors in the early avian embryo. One marker, called Quek1, is the avian homologue of the mammalian VEGF receptor flk-1 and the other is the MB1/QH1 monoclonal antibody. Quek1 is expressed in a subset of mesodermal cells from the gastrulation stage. Quek1 positive cells later form blood vessel endothelial cells and express the MB1/QH1 antigen which is specific for endothelial and hemopoietic cells of the quail species. These two markers allowed us first to show that the cephalic paraxial mesoderm has angiogenic potentials which are much more extended than its trunk counterpart (the somites). Secondly, the origin of the endothelial cells lining the craniofacial and head blood vessels was mapped on the 3-somite stage cephalic mesoderm via the quail-chick chimera technique, in which well defined mesodermal territories are exchanged between stage-matched embryos of both species in a strictly isotopic manner. We found that the anterior region of the cephalic paraxial mesoderm is largely recruited to provide the forebrain and the upper face with their vasculature. This means that large volumes of tissues are vascularized by a discrete region of the cephalic mesoderm, the fate of which is otherwise to give rise to muscles. The widespread expansion of the angiogenic cells arising from the anterior paraxial mesoderm must be related to the high growth rate of the anterior region of the neural primordium, yielding the telencephalon and of the neural crest-derived facial structures which are themselves devoid of angiogenic potencies.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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