Emergence of hematopoietic stem cells in the human embryo

B Peault, E Oberlin, M Tavian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have previously identified a novel site of hematopoietic cell production within the human embryo, which is localised in the ventral wall of the dorsal aorta and vitelline artery. Cells emerging in that territory between 27 and 40 days of gestation exhibit the expected phenotypic, molecular, and functional properties of hematopoietic stem cells and are the first multipotent, lympho-myeloid progenitors that appear in human ontogeny. We have next demonstrated that vascular endothelial cells sorted stringently, by flow cytometry, from the human yolk sac and embryonic aorta exhibit dramatic blood-forming potential in culture. These results suggest a filiation between vascular endothelium and hematopoietic cells in the course of early human ontogeny. More preliminary data indicate that a subpopulation of vascular endothelial cells in the bone marrow may retain this hematogenous potential until adult stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1021-1026
Number of pages6
JournalComptes rendus biologies
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002

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