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Dev Biol 1999 May 15;2092:352-68. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1999.9245.
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Elucidating the origins of the vascular system: a fate map of the vascular endothelial and red blood cell lineages in Xenopus laevis.

Mills KR , Kruep D , Saha MS .

Required to supply nutrients and oxygen to the growing embryo, the vascular system is the first functional organ system to develop during vertebrate embryogenesis. Although there has been substantial progress in identifying the genetic cascade regulating vascular development, the initial stages of vasculogenesis, namely, the origin of vascular endothelial cells within the early embryo, remain unclear. To address this issue we constructed a fate map for specific vascular structures, including the aortic arches, endocardium, dorsal aorta, cardinal veins, and lateral abdominal veins, as well as for the red blood cells at the 16-cell stage and the 32-cell stage of Xenopus laevis. Using genetic markers to identify these cell types, our results suggest that vascular endothelial cells can arise from virtually every blastomere of the 16-cell-stage and the 32-cell-stage embryo, with different blastomeres preferentially, though not exclusively, giving rise to specific vascular structures. Similarly, but more surprisingly, every blastomere in the 16-cell-stage embryo and all but those in the most animal tier of the 32-cell-stage embryo serve as progenitors for red blood cells. Taken together, our results suggest that during normal development, both dorsal and ventral blastomeres contribute significantly to the vascular endothelial and red blood cell lineages.

PubMed ID: 10328926
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: aplnr hbg1 ret sst.1

Article Images: [+] show captions