Identification of the hemangioblast in postnatal life.


Postnatal CD34(+) cells expressing vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (KDR) generate hematopoietic or endothelial progeny in different in vitro and in vivo assays. Hypothetically, CD34(+)KDR(+) cells may comprise hemangioblasts bipotent for both lineages. This hypothesis is consistent with 2 series of experiments. In the first series, in clonogenic culture permissive for hematopoietic and endothelial cell growth, CD34(+)KDR(+) cells generate large hemato-endothelial (Hem-End) colonies (5% of seeded cells), whereas CD34(+)KDR(-) cells do not. Limiting-dilution analysis indicates that Hem-End colonies are clonally generated by single hemangioblasts. Sibling cells generated by a hemangioblast, replated in unicellular culture, produce either hematopoietic or Hem-End colonies, depending on the specific culture conditions. Identification of endothelial cells was based on the expression of VE-cadherin and endothelial markers and with lack of CD45 and hematopoietic molecules, as evaluated by immunofluorescence, immunocytochemistry, and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Furthermore, endothelial cells were functionally identified using low-density lipoprotein (LDL) uptake and tube-formation assays. In the second series, to evaluate the self-renewal capacity of hemangioblasts, single CD34(+)KDR(+) cells were grown in 3-month extended long-term culture (ELTC) through 3 serial culture rounds-that is, blast cells generated in unicellular ELTC were reseeded for a subsequent round of unicellular ELTC. After 9 months, 10% blasts from tertiary ELTC functioned as hemangioblasts and generated macroscopic Hem-End colonies in clonogenic culture. These studies identified postnatal hemangioblasts in a CD34(+)KDR(+) cell subset, endowed with long-term proliferative potential and bilineage differentiation capacity. Although exceedingly rare, hemangioblasts may represent the lifetime source/reservoir for primitive hematopoietic and endothelial progenitors.

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@article{Pelosi2002IdentificationOT, title={Identification of the hemangioblast in postnatal life.}, author={Elvira Pelosi and Mauro Valtieri and Simona Coppola and Rosanna Botta and Marco Gabbianelli and Valentina Lulli and Giovanna Marziali and Barbara Masella and Robert A. Mueller and Cecilia Sgadari and Ugo Testa and Giuseppina Bonanno and Cesare Peschle}, journal={Blood}, year={2002}, volume={100 9}, pages={3203-8} }