Editors' ChoiceHematopoiesis

Transforming blood cell development

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Science  30 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6307, pp. 1510-1511
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6307.1510-e

Although the transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) enables many life-saving procedures, their limited availability prevents wider use. A better understanding of how they develop may assist in expanding the supply. During embryonic development, HSCs arise from a subset of endothelial cells in the dorsal aorta. Using zebrafish as a model, Monteiro et al. find that signaling pathways dependent on the protein TGFβ (transforming growth factor β) drive the endothelial-to-hematopoietic transition that leads to HSC development. First, TGFβ produced by the endothelial cells themselves programs the endothelium, and then its production by the notochord orchestrates the transition.

Dev. Cell 38, 358 (2016).

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