During mouse embryogenesis, primitive erythropoiesis occurs in blood islands of the yolk sac (YS) on the seventh day of gestation. This study demonstrated for the first time the presence of unique primitive megakaryocytic (Mk) progenitors in the early YS, which disappeared by 13.5 days postcoitum (dpc). When 7.5 dpc YS cells were incubated in the presence of stem cell factor (SCF), interleukin (IL)-3, IL-6, erythropoietin (EPO), thrombopoietin (TPO), and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor in methylcellulose clonal culture, not only erythroid bursts but also megakaryocyte colonies were observed. The megakaryocytes in the colonies matured to proplatelet stages and produced platelets as early as day 3 of culture, much earlier than those from adult bone marrow, although their ploidy class was lower. These megakaryocytes were stained with acetylcholine esterase, and expressed platelet glycoprotein (GP)Ibβ, GPIIIa, and platelet factor 4 by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis. The analysis of hemoglobin types in erythrocytes obtained from hematopoietic multilineage colonies containing the megakaryocytes indicated that the Mk progenitors originated from primitive hematopoiesis. The primitive Mk progenitors formed colonies in the absence of any cytokines in fetal bovine serum (FBS)-containing culture, and SCF, IL-3, EPO, and TPO significantly enhanced the Mk colony formation. In FBS-free culture, however, no colony formation was induced without these cytokines. Because megakaryocytes were detected in 8.5-dpc YS, these unique primitive Mk progenitors may rapidly mature and give rise to platelets to prevent hemorrhage in the simultaneously developing blood vessels until definitive hematopoiesis begins to produce platelets.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology