Erythro-myeloid progenitors contribute endothelial cells to blood vessels

Alice Plein, Alessandro Fantin, Laura Denti, Jeffrey W. Pollard, Christiana Ruhrberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The earliest blood vessels in mammalian embryos are formed when endothelial cells differentiate from angioblasts and coalesce into tubular networks. Thereafter, the endothelium is thought to expand solely by proliferation of pre-existing endothelial cells. Here we show that a complementary source of endothelial cells is recruited into pre-existing vasculature after differentiation from the earliest precursors of erythrocytes, megakaryocytes and macrophages, the erythro-myeloid progenitors (EMPs) that are born in the yolk sac. A first wave of EMPs contributes endothelial cells to the yolk sac endothelium, and a second wave of EMPs colonizes the embryo and contributes endothelial cells to intraembryonic endothelium in multiple organs, where they persist into adulthood. By demonstrating that EMPs constitute a hitherto unrecognized source of endothelial cells, we reveal that embryonic blood vascular endothelium expands in a dual mechanism that involves both the proliferation of pre-existing endothelial cells and the incorporation of endothelial cells derived from haematopoietic precursors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223–228
Number of pages6
Issue number7726
Early online date26 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2018


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