We have investigated the lymphohematopoietic potentials of endothelial cells (EC) and hematopoietic cells (HPC) sorted from embryos. Expression of VE-cadherin, CD45, and Ter119 was used to distinguish EC (VE- cadherin+CD45-Ter119-) from HPC (VE-cadherin-CD45+). Thus defined, EC population takes up acetylated LDL and coexpresses CD31, Flk1, and CD34. In E9.5 embryos, EC from yolk sac (YS) and the embryo proper generate blood cells, including lymphocytes. Thus, lymphohematopoietic EC do exist in the embryo, and they are generated both in YS and the embryo proper. On the other hand, HPC with lymphopoietic potency appear first in the embryo proper. These findings implicate involvement of multiple environmental cues for acquiring lymphopoietic competency during differentiation of HPC.
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