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Dev Growth Differ October 1, 2002; 44 (5): 395-407.
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Common and distinct signals specify the distribution of blood and vascular cell lineages in Xenopus laevis embryos.

Iraha F , Saito Y , Yoshida K , Kawakami M , Izutsu Y , Daar IO , Maéno M .

In an effort to elucidate the regulatory mechanisms that determine the fate of blood cells and vascular cells in the ventral blood island mesoderm, the embryonic expression of Xtie-2, a Xenopus homolog of the tie-2 receptor tyrosine kinase, was examined. Whole-mount in situ hybridization analysis revealed that Xtie-2 mRNA is expressed at the late tailbud stage within the regions where endothelial precursor cells exist. On the ventral side of embryos, Xtie-2-positive cells are predominantly present just outside the boundary of alpha-globin-positive cells, thus the expression pattern of these two markers seems mutually exclusive. Further experiments revealed that there is a consistent and strong correlation between the induction of Xtie-2 and alpha-globin expression in embryos and explant tissues. First, these two markers displayed overlapping expression in embryos ventralized by the removal of a "dorsal determinant" from the vegetal cytoplasm at the 1-cell stage. Second, expression of both Xtie-2 and alpha-globin were markedly induced in ectodermal explants (animal caps) from embryos co-injected with activin and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-4 RNA. Furthermore, both Xtie-2 and alpha-globin messages were strongly positive in dorsal marginal zone explants that had been injected with BMP-4 RNA. In contrast, however, there was a clear distinction in the localization of these two transcripts in embryos dorsalized by LiCl treatment. Distinct localization was also found in the ventral marginal zone (VMZ) explants. Using the VMZ explant system, we demonstrate a role of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling in enhancing the vascular cell marker and reducing the blood cell marker. The present study suggests that the early steps of blood and vascular cell differentiation are regulated by a common BMP-4-dependent signaling; however, distinct factor(s) such as FGF are involved in different distribution of these two cell lineages.

PubMed ID: 12392573
Article link: Dev Growth Differ

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: bmp4 fgf2 hba1 kdr tek

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