Although classified as hematopoietic cells, tissue-resident macrophages (MFs) arise from embryonic precursors that seed the tissues prior to birth to generate a self-renewing population, which is maintained independently of adult hematopoiesis. Here we reveal the identity of these embryonic precursors using an in utero MF-depletion strategy and fate-mapping of yolk sac (YS) and fetal liver (FL) hematopoiesis. We show that YS MFs are the main precursors of microglia, while most other MFs derive from fetal monocytes (MOs). Both YS MFs and fetal MOs arise from erythro-myeloid progenitors (EMPs) generated in the YS. In the YS, EMPs gave rise to MFs without monocytic intermediates, while EMP seeding the FL upon the establishment of blood circulation acquired c-Myb expression and gave rise to fetal MOs that then seeded embryonic tissues and differentiated into MFs. Thus, adult tissue-resident MFs established from hematopoietic stem cell-independent embryonic precursors arise from two distinct developmental programs.
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