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Open Access Review

Return to the hematopoietic stem cell origin

Igor M Samokhvalov

Author Affiliations

South China Institute of Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzho0075, 510530, China

Cell Regeneration 2012, 1:9  doi:10.1186/2045-9769-1-9

Published: 20 December 2012


Studying embryonic hematopoiesis is complicated by diversity of its locations in the constantly changing anatomy and by the mobility of blood cell precursors. Embryonic hematopoietic progenitors are identified in traditional in vivo and in vitro cell potential assays. Profound epigenetic plasticity of mammalian embryonic cells combined with significant inductive capacity of the potential assays suggest that our understanding of hematopoietic ontogenesis is substantially distorted. Non-invasive in vivo cell tracing methodology offers a better insight into complex processes of blood cell specification. In contrast to the widely accepted view based on the cell potential assays, the genetic tracing approach identified the yolk sac as the source of adult hematopoietic stem cell lineage. Realistic knowledge of the blood origin is critical for safe and efficient recapitulation of hematopoietic development in culture.

Hematopoiesis; Development; Hematopoietic stem cell; Repopulation; Cell potential; Cell tracing