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Development. 1998 Nov;125(22):4575-83.

Intraaortic hemopoietic cells are derived from endothelial cells during ontogeny.

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Institut d'Embryologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire du CNRS et du Collège de France; 49 bis, Avenue de la Belle Gabrielle, France.


We have investigated the developmental relationship of the hemopoietic and endothelial lineages in the floor of the chicken aorta, a site of hemopoietic progenitor emergence in the embryo proper. We show that, prior to the onset of hemopoiesis, the aortic endothelium uniformly expresses the endothelium-specific membrane receptor VEGF-R2. The onset of hemopoiesis can be determined by detecting the common leukocyte antigen CD45. VEGF-R2 and CD45 are expressed in complementary fashion, namely the hemopoietic cluster-bearing floor of the aorta is CD45(+)/VEGF-R2(-), while the rest of the aortic endothelium is CD45(-)/VEGF-R2(+). To determine if the hemopoietic clusters are derived from endothelial cells, we tagged the E2 endothelial tree from the inside with low-density lipoproteins (LDL) coupled to DiI. 24 hours later, hemopoietic clusters were labelled by LDL. Since no CD45(+) cells were inserted among endothelial cells at the time of vascular labelling, hemopoietic clusters must be concluded to derive from precursors with an endothelial phenotype.

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