Migration of dorsal aorta mesenchymal stem cells induced by mouse embryonic circulation

Xin-Long Yan, Yu Lan, Xiao-Yan Wang, Wen-Yan He, Hui-Yu Yao, Dong-Bo Chen, Jia-Xiang Xiong, Jiao Gao, Zhuan Li, Guan Yang, Xiu-Sen Li, Yuan-Lin Liu, Ji-Yan Zhang, Bing Liu, Ning Mao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) represent powerful tools for regenerative medicine for their differentiation and migration capacity. However, ontogeny and migration of MSCs in mammalian mid-gestation conceptus is poorly understood. We identified canonical MSCs in the mouse embryonic day (E) 11.5 dorsal aorta (DA). They possessed homogenous immunophenotype (CD45(-)CD31(-)Flk-1(-)CD44(+)CD29(+)), expressed perivascular markers (α-SMA(+)NG2(+)PDGFRβ(+)PDGFRα(+)), and had tri-lineage differentiation potential (osteoblasts, adipocytes, and chondrocytes). Of interest, MSCs were also detected in E12.5-E13.5 embryonic circulation, 24 hr later than in DA, suggesting migration like hematopoietic stem cells. Functionally, E12.5 embryonic blood could trigger efficient migration of DA-MSCs through platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) receptor-, transforming growth factor-beta receptor-, but not basic fibroblast growth factor receptor-mediated signaling. Moreover, downstream JNK and AKT signaling pathway played important roles in embryonic blood- or PDGF-mediated migration of DA-derived MSCs. Taken together, these results revealed that clonal MSCs developed in the mouse DA. More importantly, the embryonic circulation, in addition to its conventional transporting roles, could modulate migration of MSC during early embryogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011


  • Animals
  • Aorta
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Movement
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Female
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Placental Circulation
  • Pregnancy
  • Stem Cells


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