[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The embryonic dorsal aorta plays a pivotal role in the production of the first hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), the founders of the adult hematopoietic system. HSC production is polarized by being restricted to the aortic floor where a specialized subset of endothelial cells (ECs) endowed with hemogenic properties undergo an endothelial-to-hematopoietic production resulting in the formation of the intra-aortic hematopoietic clusters. This production is tightly time- and space-controlled with the transcription factor Runx1 playing a key role in this process and the surrounding tissues controlling the aortic shape and fate. In this paper, we shall review (a) how hemogenic ECs differentiate from the mesoderm, (b) how the different aortic components assemble coordinately to establish the dorso-ventral polarity, and (c) how this results in the initiation of Runx1 expression in hemogenic ECs and the initiation of the hematopoietic program. These observations should elucidate the first steps in HSC commitment and help in developing techniques to manipulate adult HSCs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are produced by a small cohort of hemogenic endothelial cells (ECs) during development through the formation of intra-aortic hematopoietic cell (HC) clusters. The Runx1 transcription factor plays a key role in the EC-to-HC and -HSC transition. We show that Runx1 expression in hemogenic ECs and the subsequent initiation of HC formation are tightly controlled by the subaortic mesenchyme, although the mesenchyme is not a source of HCs. Runx1 and Notch signaling are involved in this process, with Notch signaling decreasing with time in HCs. Inhibiting Notch signaling readily increases HC production in mouse and chicken embryos. In the mouse, however, this increase is transient. Collectively, we show complementary roles of hemogenic ECs and mesenchymal compartments in triggering aortic hematopoiesis. The subaortic mesenchyme induces Runx1 expression in hemogenic-primed ECs and collaborates with Notch dynamics to control aortic hematopoiesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) are at the basis of the hematopoietic system construction. In adult higher Vertebrates, HSC,
defined by their multipotentiality and self-renewal capacity, setde in the bone marrow where they can differentiate into progenitors
with more restricted lineage potential and generate all blood lineages via a cascade of commitment events. However HSC are
generated during the earliest phases of embryonic development into specific sites. Genetic technologies in the mouse have
revealed a number of mutations that affect the production of blood cells, some of which early during development. The tiny
mouse embryo embedded in the uterus is not however the most appropriate model to study the earliest events of the development
for the analysis of cell commitment, cell migration and cell interaction. Work in the avian embryo has led to several breakthroughs
in analysing the ontogeny of the hematopoietic system. Here we will review the main steps that have paved a 30 year analysis
of the construction of the hematopoietic system.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since the era of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, the avian embryo has been a subject of intense interest to visualize the first steps of development. It has served as a pioneer model to scrutinize the question of hematopoietic development from the beginning of the 20th century. It's large size and easy accessibility have permitted the development of techniques dedicated to following the origins and fates of different cell populations. Here, we shall review how the avian model has brought major contributions to our understanding of the development of the hematopoietic system in the past four decades and how these discoveries have influenced our knowledge of mammalian hematopoietic development. The discovery of an intra-embryonic source of hematopoietic cells and the developmental link between endothelial cells and hematopoietic cells will be presented. We shall then point to the pivotal role of the somite in the construction of the aorta and hematopoietic production and demonstrate how two somitic compartments cooperate to construct the definitive aorta. We shall finish by showing how fate-mapping experiments have allowed the identification of the tissue which gives rise to the sub-aortic mesenchyme. Taken together, this review aims to give an overview of how and to what extent the avian embryo has contributed to our knowledge of developmental hematopoiesis.
The International journal of developmental biology 01/2010; 54(6-7):1045-54. DOI:10.1387/ijdb.103062tj · 2.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are responsible for the life-long production of the blood system and are pivotal cells in hematologic transplantation therapies. During mouse and human development, the first HSCs are produced in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros region. Subsequent to this emergence, HSCs are found in other anatomical sites of the mouse conceptus. While the mouse placenta contains abundant HSCs at midgestation, little is known concerning whether HSCs or hematopoietic progenitors are present and supported in the human placenta during development. In this study we show, over a range of developmental times including term, that the human placenta contains hematopoietic progenitors and HSCs. Moreover, stromal cell lines generated from human placenta at several developmental time points are pericyte-like cells and support human hematopoiesis. Immunostaining of placenta sections during development localizes hematopoietic cells in close contact with pericytes/perivascular cells. Thus, the human placenta is a potent hematopoietic niche throughout development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hematopoiesis is initiated in several distinct tissues in the mouse conceptus. The aorta-gonad-mesonephros (AGM) region is of particular interest, as it autonomously generates the first adult type hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). The ventral position of hematopoietic clusters closely associated with the aorta of most vertebrate embryos suggests a polarity in the specification of AGM HSCs. Since positional information plays an important role in the embryonic development of several tissue systems, we tested whether AGM HSC induction is influenced by the surrounding dorsal and ventral tissues. Our explant culture results at early and late embryonic day 10 show that ventral tissues induce and increase AGM HSC activity, whereas dorsal tissues decrease it. Chimeric explant cultures with genetically distinguishable AGM and ventral tissues show that the increase in HSC activity is not from ventral tissue-derived HSCs, precursors or primordial germ cells (as was previously suggested). Rather, it is due to instructive signaling from ventral tissues. Furthermore, we identify Hedgehog protein(s) as an HSC inducing signal.
Development 08/2009; 136(15):2613-21. DOI:10.1242/dev.034728 · 6.27 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal and differentiation is regulated by cellular and molecular interactions with the surrounding microenvironment. During ontogeny, the aorta-gonad-mesonephros (AGM) region autonomously generates the first HSCs and serves as the first HSC-supportive microenvironment. Because the molecular identity of the AGM microenvironment is as yet unclear, we examined two closely related AGM stromal clones that differentially support HSCs. Expression analyses identified three putative HSC regulatory factors, beta-NGF (a neurotrophic factor), MIP-1gamma (a C-C chemokine family member) and Bmp4 (a TGF-beta family member). We show here that these three factors, when added to AGM explant cultures, enhance the in vivo repopulating ability of AGM HSCs. The effects of Bmp4 on AGM HSCs were further studied because this factor acts at the mesodermal and primitive erythropoietic stages in the mouse embryo. In this report, we show that enriched E11 AGM HSCs express Bmp receptors and can be inhibited in their activity by gremlin, a Bmp antagonist. Moreover, our results reveal a focal point of Bmp4 expression in the mesenchyme underlying HSC containing aortic clusters at E11. We suggest that Bmp4 plays a relatively late role in the regulation of HSCs as they emerge in the midgestation AGM.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2008; 104(52):20838-43. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0706923105 · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Craniofacial bones derive from cephalic neural crest, by endochondral or intramembranous ossification. Here, we address the role of the homeobox transcription factor Dlx5 during the initial steps of calvaria membranous differentiation and we show that Dlx5 elicits Runx2 induction and full osteoblast differentiation in embryonic suture mesenchyme grown "in vitro". First, we compare Dlx5 expression to bone-related gene expression in the developing skull and mandibular bones. We classify genes into three groups related to consecutive steps of ossification. Secondly, we study Dlx5 activity in osteoblast precursors, by transfecting Dlx5 into skull mesenchyme dissected prior to the onset of either Dlx5 and Runx2 expression or osteogenesis. We find that Dlx5 does not modify the proliferation rate or the expression of suture markers in the immature calvaria cells. Rather, Dlx5 initiates a complete osteogenic differentiation in these early primary cells, by triggering Runx2, osteopontin, alkaline phosphatase, and other gene expression according to the sequential temporal sequence observed during skull osteogenesis "in vivo". Thirdly, we show that BMP signaling activates Dlx5, Runx2, and alkaline phosphatase in those primary cultures and that a dominant-negative Dlx factor interferes with the ability of the BMP pathway to activate Runx2 expression. Together, these data suggest a pivotal role of Dlx5 and related Dlx factors in the onset of differentiation of chick calvaria osteoblasts.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aorta is recognized as an intraembryonic site that produces adult-type hemopoietic stem cells. A corpus of data indicates that hemopoietic cells arranged as clusters attached to the aortic floor derive from an endothelial intermediate. This review reports on experimental approaches carried out in the avian embryo to establish the developmental history of the aortic endothelium and trace the origin of associated hemopoietic cells.
Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine 06/2006; 16(4):128-39. DOI:10.1016/j.tcm.2006.02.005 · 2.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have isolated the avian ortholog for CBFbeta, the common non-DNA binding subunit of the core binding factor (CBF) that has important regulatory roles in major developmental pathways. CBFbeta forms heterodimers with the DNA-binding Runx proteins and increases their affinity for DNA and their protein stability. Here, we describe the Cbfbeta expression pattern during the first 4 days of chick embryo development, with a special interest in the developing hematopoietic system. We have compared its expression pattern to that of Runx1, which is crucial for the generation of definitive hematopoietic cells, and to other hematopoietic- or endothelial-specific markers (c-Myb, Pu.1, CD45, c-Ets-1 and VE-Cadherin). Initially, Cbfbeta is widely expressed in the early mesoderm in both the yolk sac and the embryo proper, but later its expression becomes restricted to specific organs or cell types. We have found that Cbfbeta expression overlaps with Runx1 in the hematopoietic system and neural tube. The somitic and mesonephric structures, however, express Cbfbeta in the absence of detectable Runx1. Finally, Cbfbeta and Runx1 display multiple combinatorial patterns in the endoderm and in specific nerves or ganglia. Taken together, we show that Cbfbeta exhibits a dynamic expression pattern that varies according to the organ, cell type or developmental stage. By revealing multiple combinatorial patterns between Cbfbeta and Runx1, these data provide new insights into the role of CBF during early development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report here a method that allows fast, efficient, and low-cost screening for gene function in the vascular system of the vertebrate embryo. Through intracardiac delivery of nucleic acids optimally compacted by a specific cationic lipid, we are able to induce in vivo endothelial cell-specific gain-of-function during development of the vascular network in the chick embryo. When the nucleic acids are delivered during the period of intraembryonic hematopoiesis, aortic hemangioblasts, the forerunners of the hematopoietic stem cells known to derive from the aortic endothelium, are also labeled. Similarly, we show that siRNA could be used to induce loss-of-function in vascular endothelial cells. This gene transfer technique was also applied to the mouse embryo with a high efficiency. The present method allows large-scale analysis and may represent a new and versatile tool for functional genomics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The developmental origin of hematopoietic stem cells has been for decades the subject of great interest. Once thought to emerge from the yolk sac, hematopoietic stem cells have now been shown to originate from the embryonic aorta. Increasing evidence suggests that hematopoietic stem cells are produced from an endothelial intermediate designated by the authors as hemangioblast or hemogenic endothelium. Recently, the allantois in the avian embryo and the placenta in the mouse embryo were shown to be a site of hematopoietic cell production/expansion and thus appear to play a critical role in the formation of the hematopoietic system. In this review we shall give an overview of the data obtained from human, mouse and avian models on the cellular origins of the hematopoietic system and discuss some aspects of the molecular mechanisms controlling hematopoietic cell production.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The developmental origin of hematopoietic stem cells has been the subject of much research. Now that the developmental link between the hematopoietic system and the vasculature has been well established, questions remain regarding the precise cellular origin of definitive hematopoietic cells and at what point they branch off from the endothelial lineage. Do they emerge directly from a hemangioblast-type cell, similar to what is proposed for primitive yolk sac hematopoiesis, or are they generated via an endothelial intermediate, the hemogenic endothelium? In this review, we will give an overview of the data obtained from the mouse and avian models on the cellular origins of the hematopoietic system.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We review here the development of the hematopoietic system and its relationship to the endothelium, with a special focus on the characterisation of the hemangioblast, the putative ancestor for endothelial cells and hematopoietic cells. Using the avian model, we have traced in vivo the progeny of embryonic endothelial cells and shown that aortic-born hematopoietic cells (known to generate the definitive hematopoietic lineage) derive from endothelial cells in the floor of the aorta. During this process, endothelial cells undergo a switch from endothelial cells to hematopoietic cells characterised by a downgrading of endothelial cell-specific genes and the parallel upgrading of hematopoietic cell-specific genes. Using a similar approach, we have shown that generation of hematopoietic cells from endothelial cells also takes place during mouse embryonic development. We have thoroughly characterised the dynamics of key molecules (several of which we have cloned) specifically expressed by the yolk sac or aortic hemangioblast. The yolk sac hemangioblast is characterized by the specific expression of SCL/Tal-1 and Lmo2, whereas the aortic hemangioblast expresses Runx-1 (a runt domain transcription factor). Finally, we have demonstrated the existence of a new site for hematopoiesis, namely the allantois. Using quail/chick grafts, we show that this embryonic appendage autonomously produces endothelial cells and hematopoietic cells, these latter being endowed with the attributes of the definitive hematopoietic lineage.
The International Journal of Developmental Biology 02/2005; 49(2-3):269-77. DOI:10.1387/ijdb.041948tj · 2.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the vertebrate embryo, the ventral wall of the aorta is the major site of Haematopoietic Stem Cell (HSC) production. HSC, which are at the basis of the adult blood cells hierarchy, are generated from Endothelial Cells (EC) through a complex cascade of molecular events. The transcription factor RUNX1/AML1 and its cofactor CBFbeta, disrupted in 20 % of acute myeloid leukaemia cases, are thought to control this process. A detailed gene expression analysis of RUNX1 and its associated factors in the chick embryo, prompted us to speculate on the molecular cascades involved in HSC production. The function of RUNX1 is however tightly regulated at several levels, rendering analysis through classical genetic approaches very difficult to manage. To offer new possibilities of investigation, we have designed a technique to target the blood forming system in vivo. Gene transfer was achieved by lipofection following delivery by intra-cardiac injection in the avian embryo. This method was optimised to allow a wide range of functional analysis, either by gain or loss of function, in a simple and efficient manner. In combination with experimental advantages of the avian embryo, this new system of genetic analysis allows us to perform a detailed study of RUNX1 function in HSC production from EC.
Journal de la Société de Biologie 02/2005; 199(2):93-9.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the vertebrate embryo, the ventral wall of the aorta is the major site of Haematopoietic Stem Cell (HSC) production. HSC, which are at the basis of the adult blood cells hierarchy, are generated from Endothelial Cells (EC) through a complex cascade of molecular events. The transcription factor RUNX1/AML1 and its cofactor CBF$\beta$, disrupted in 20% of acute myeloid leukaemia cases, are thought to control this process. A detailed gene expression analysis of RUNX1 and its associated factors in the chick embryo, prompted us to speculate on the molecular cascades involved in HSC production. The function of RUNX1 is however tightly regulated at several levels, rendering analysis through classical genetic approaches very difficult to manage. To offer new possibilities of investigation, we have designed a technique to target the blood forming system in vivo. Gene transfer was achieved by lipofection following delivery by intra-cardiac injection in the avian embryo. This method was optimised to allow a wide range of functional analysis, either by gain or loss of function, in a simple and efficient manner. In combination with experimental advantages of the avian embryo, this new system of genetic analysis allows us to perform a detailed study of RUNX1 function in HSC production from EC. Chez l'embryon de vertébré, le plancher de l'aorte est le site majeur de production des Cellules Souches Hématopoïétiques (CSH) assurant le renouvellement des cellules sanguines chez l'adulte. Les CSH sont produites à partir des Cellules Endothéliales (CE) via une cascade complexe d'événements moléculaires qui sont, à l'heure actuelle, encore peu compris. Le facteur de transcription RUNX1/AML1 et son cofacteur CBF$\beta$, impliqués dans 20 % des leucémies myéloïdes aiguës, semblent contrôler ce processus. L'étude détaillée de l'expression de RUNX1 et des facteurs associés au cours de la production des CSH chez l'embryon d'oiseau, nous permet d'envisager les cascades moléculaires impliquées. Cependant, la fonction de RUNX1 est finement régulée à plusieurs niveaux et les mécanismes moléculaires sousjacents sont difficiles à analyser par les approches génétiques classiques. Afin d'offrir de nouvelles possibilités d'étude, nous avons mis au point une technique permettant de cibler l'arbre vasculaire et les CE hémogéniques in vivo. Le transfert de gène est réalisé par lipofection après inoculation par injection intra-cardiaque chez l'embryon d'oiseau. Cette méthode a été optimisée pour permettre de mener des expériences de gain ou de perte de fonction de manière simple et efficace. Combiné aux avantages expérimentaux de l'embryon d'oiseau, ce nouveau système d'analyse génétique nous permet d'étudier en détail la fonction de RUNX1 dans la production des CSH à partir des CE.
Journal de la Société de Biologie 01/2005; DOI:10.1051/jbio:2005010
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To date three sites of emergence of hemopoietin cells have been identified during early avian development: the yolk sac, the intraaortic clusters and recently the allantois. However, the contributions of the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) populations generated by these different sites to definitive hematopoiesis and their migration routes are not fully unraveled. Experimental embryology as well as the establishment of the genetic cascades involved in HSC emergence help now to draw a better scheme of these processes.