VEGF and IHH rescue definitive hematopoiesis in Gata-4 and Gata-6-deficient murine embryoid bodies

Monique Pierre, Momoko Yoshimoto, Lan Huang, Matthew Richardson, Mervin C. Yoder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Objective: Murine embryonic stem cells can be differentiated into embryoid bodies (EBs), which serve as an in vitro model recapitulating many aspects of embryonic yolk sac hematopoiesis. Differentiation of embryonic stem cells deficient in either Gata-4 or Gata-6 results in EBs with disrupted visceral endoderm (VE). While lack of VE has detrimental effects on hematopoiesis in vivo, it is unclear whether lack of VE affects hematopoiesis in EBs. Therefore, we compared Gata-4 null (G4N) and Gata-6 null (G6N) EBs with wild-type EBs to assess their ability to commit to hematopoietic cells. Materials and Methods: EB VE formation was examined using cell-sorting techniques and analysis visceral endoderm gene expression. Hematopoietic progenitor potential of EBs cultured under various conditions was assessed using colony-forming assays. Results: Definitive erythroid, granulocyte-macrophage, and mixed colonies were significantly reduced in G4N and G6N EBs compared to wild-type EBs. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and secretion were also reduced in both G4N and G6N EBs, consistent with VE serving as a site of VEGF production. Addition of exogenous VEGF165, to EB cultures completely rescued definitive colony-forming cells in G4N and G6N EBs. This rescue response could be blocked by addition of soluble Flk-1 Fc to EB cultures. Similarly, addition of exogenous Indian hedgehog to EB cultures also recovers the diminishment in definitive hematopoiesis in a reversible manner. Conclusion: These results suggest that the absence of VE in G4N and G6N EBs does not prevent emergence of definitive progenitors from EBs. However, the decreased level of VEGF and Indian hedgehog production in VE devoid G4N and G6N EBs attenuates definitive hematopoietic progenitor cell expansion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1038-1053
Number of pages16
JournalExperimental Hematology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'VEGF and IHH rescue definitive hematopoiesis in Gata-4 and Gata-6-deficient murine embryoid bodies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this