On hemangioblasts in chicken

PLoS One. 2007 Nov 28;2(11):e1228. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0001228.


Hemangioblasts are bi-potential precursors for blood and endothelial cells (BCs and ECs). Existence of the hemangioblast in vivo by its strict definition, i.e. a clonal precursor giving rise to these two cell types after division, is still debated. Using a combination of mitotic figure analysis, cell labeling and long-term cell tracing, we show that, in chicken, cell division does not play a major role during the entire ventral mesoderm differentiation process after gastrulation. One eighth of cells do undergo at least one round of division, but mainly give rise to daughter cells contributing to the same lineage. Approximately 7% of the dividing cells that contribute to either the BC or EC lineage meet the criteria of true hemangioblasts, with one daughter cell becoming a BC and the other an EC. Our data suggest that hemangioblast-type generation of BC/EC occurs, but is not used as a major mechanism during early chicken development. It remains unclear, however, whether hemangioblast-like progenitor cells play a more prominent role in later development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Lineage
  • Chickens
  • Hemocytes / cytology*
  • Mitosis