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Blood 2004 May 01;1039:3320-5. doi: 10.1182/blood-2003-02-0352.
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Essential role of HGF (hepatocyte growth factor) in blood formation in Xenopus.

Koibuchi N , Kaneda Y , Taniyama Y , Matsumoto K , Nakamura T , Ogihara T , Morishita R .

In this study, we investigated the role of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in blood formation during Xenopus development. First, we examined the gene expression of HGF and its receptor, c-met, by whole-mount in situ hybridization during development. Strong signals of HGF as well as c-met were detected early in the developing ventral mesoderm, which later gives rise to the ventral blood island. Furthermore, to study the role of HGF, we blocked the HGF signaling pathway in Xenopus embryos by using truncated c-met lacking the tyrosine kinase domain. Injection of truncated c-met mRNA resulted in a marked decrease in the number of circulating blood cells. Similar results were obtained using morpholino antisense HGF oligonucleotides. Moreover, we also analyzed the expression of several early primitive blood markers in the blood island of these embryos. RNA in situ analysis revealed a significant reduction (or absence) of stem cell leukemia (SCL), alpha-globin, and GATA-1 expression, but not GATA-2 expression. In contrast, no significant difference was observed in the levels of expression of early definitive blood markers, SCL, GATA-2, and GATA-3 in the dorsolateral plate, as analyzed by in situ hybridization. Overall, the present study demonstrated that HGF is necessary for primitive hematopoiesis by regulating the expression of SCL.

PubMed ID: 14701703
Article link: Blood

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: hgf tal1
Morpholinos: hgf MO1