The murine placenta contains hematopoietic stem cells within the vascular labyrinth region

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In the midgestation murine embryo, several major vascular tissues contain hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) activity. These include the aorta-gonad-mesonephros region (AGM), yolk sac, and fetal liver. Recently, the placenta was demonstrated to harbor hematopoietic progenitors, but it was not examined for HSC activity. We demonstrate here that the placenta also harbors adult-repopulating HSCs. Placental HSCs begin to be detected at embryonic day (E) 11, and HSC numbers increase dramatically between E11 and E12, exceeding the numbers in the circulating embryonic blood. Furthermore, all placental HSC activity is restricted to the GFP+ fraction of cells in Ly-6A (Sca-1) GFP transgenic embryos. Cells coexpressing GFP and endothelial markers CD34 and CD31 are found in the embryonic vasculature of the placental labyrinth. Moreover, placental cell expression of other HSC markers and transcription factors suggests that HSC emergence may occur in the placenta, as has been proposed for other embryonic hematopoietic sites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)377-87
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005


  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD31
  • Antigens, CD34
  • Antigens, Ly
  • Blood Vessels
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Female
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mesonephros
  • Mice
  • Yolk Sac


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