Interleukin-3 promotes hemangioblast development in mouse aorta-gonad-mesonephros region

Wen-Yan He, Yu Lan, Hui-Yu Yao, Zhuan Li, Xiao-Yan Wang, Xiu-Sen Li, Ji-Yan Zhang, Yu Zhang, Bing Liu, Ning Mao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The hemangioblast is a bi-potential precursor cell with the capacity to differentiate into hematopoietic and vascular cells. In mouse E7.0-7.5 embryos, the hemangioblast can be identified by a clonal blast colony-forming cell (BL-CFC) assay or single cell OP9 co-culture. However, the ontogeny of the hemangioblast in mid-gestation embryos is poorly defined.

DESIGN AND METHODS: The BL-CFC assay and the OP9 system were combined to illustrate the hemangioblast with lymphomyeloid and vascular potential in the mouse aorta-gonad-mesonephros region. The colony-forming assay, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis, immunostaining and flow cytometry were used to identify the hematopoietic potential, and Matrigel- or OP9-based methods were employed to evaluate endothelial progenitor activity.

RESULTS: Functionally, the aorta-gonad-mesonephros-derived BL-CFC produced erythroid/myeloid progenitors, CD19(+) B lymphocytes, and CD3(+)TCRbeta(+) T lymphocytes. Meanwhile, the BL-CFC-derived adherent cells generated CD31(+) tube-like structures on OP9 stromal cells, validating the endothelial progenitor potential. The aorta-gonad-mesonephros-derived hemangioblast was greatly enriched in CD31(+), endomucin(+) and CD105(+) subpopulations, which collectively pinpoints the endothelial layer as the main location. Interestingly, the BL-CFC was not detected in yolk sac, placenta, fetal liver or embryonic circulation. Screening of candidate cytokines revealed that interleukin-3 was remarkable in expanding the BL-CFC in a dose-dependent manner through the JAK2/STAT5 and MAPK/ERK pathways. Neutralizing interleukin-3 in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros region resulted in reduced numbers of BL-CFC, indicating the physiological requirement for this cytokine. Both hematopoietic and endothelial differentiation potential were significantly increased in interleukin-3-treated BL-CFC, suggesting a persistent positive influence. Intriguingly, interleukin-3 markedly amplified primitive erythroid and macrophage precursors in E7.5 embryos. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis demonstrated declined Flk-1 and elevated Scl and von Willebrand factor transcription upon interleukin-3 stimulation, indicating accelerated hemangiopoiesis.

CONCLUSIONS: The hemangioblast with lymphomyeloid potential is one of the precursors of definitive hematopoiesis in the mouse aorta-gonad-mesonephros region. Interleukin-3 has a regulatory role with regards to both the number and capacity of the dual-potential hemangioblast.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-83
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Animals
  • Aorta
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Gonads
  • Hemangioblasts
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-3
  • Mesonephros
  • Mice
  • Stromal Cells


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