Mapping mouse hemangioblast maturation from headfold stages

Rhee, J. M.; Iannaccone, P. M.

Dev Biol. 2012 Mar 20; 365(1):1-13

Abstract

The mouse posterior primitive streak at neural plate/headfold stages (NP/HF, ~7.5dpc-8dpc) represents an optimal window from which hemangioblasts can be isolated. We performed immunohistochemistry on this domain using established monoclonal antibodies for proteins that affect blood and endothelial fates. We demonstrate that HoxB4 and GATA1 are the first set of markers that segregate independently to endothelial or blood populations during NP/HF stages of mouse embryonic development. In a subset of cells, both proteins are co-expressed and immunoreactivities appear mutually excluded within nuclear spaces. We searched for this particular state at later sites of hematopoietic stem cell emergence, viz., the aorta-gonad-mesonephros (AGM) and the fetal liver at 10.5-11.5dpc, and found that only a rare number of cells displayed this character. Based on this spatial-temporal argument, we propose that the earliest blood progenitors emerge either directly from the epiblast or through segregation within the allantoic core domain (ACD) through reduction of cell adhesion and pSmad1/5 nuclear signaling, followed by a stochastic decision toward a blood or endothelial fate that involves GATA1 and HoxB4, respectively. A third form in which binding distributions are balanced may represent a common condition shared by hemangioblasts and HSCs. We developed a heuristic model of hemangioblast maturation, in part, to be explicit about our assumptions.

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