Three receptor tyrosine kinases of the PDGF receptor family (RTKP) that clustered within 1000 Kb of the mouse chromosome 5 constitute an interesting unit that are expressed in three distinct cell lineages essential for constructing hematopoietic tissues. Namely, the c-kit gene that is expressed in hematopoietic stem cells is flanked by pdgfrα and flk genes expressed respectively in stromal cells and vascular endothelial cells. In this article, we review our results on their expression in the embryonic hematopoietic tissues. We found that co-expression of Flk1 and c-Kit was frequently detected either in vascular endothelial cells or hematopoietic cells in the early hematopoietic tissues. On the other hand, the three RTKPs are expressed in different cell lineages in the fetal liver. On the basis of this finding, we propose two modes of embryonic hematopoiesis; hematogenic angiopoiesis and hematopoiesis.
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