Pro-inflammatory Aorta-Associated Macrophages Are Involved in Embryonic Development of Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Immunity. 2019 Jun 18;50(6):1439-1452.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2019.05.003. Epub 2019 Jun 6.


Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are generated from specialized endothelial cells of the embryonic aorta. Inflammatory factors are implicated in regulating mouse HSC development, but which cells in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros (AGM) microenvironment produce these factors is unknown. In the adult, macrophages play both pro- and anti-inflammatory roles. We sought to examine whether macrophages or other hematopoietic cells found in the embryo prior to HSC generation were involved in the AGM HSC-generative microenvironment. CyTOF analysis of CD45+ AGM cells revealed predominance of two hematopoietic cell types, mannose-receptor positive macrophages and mannose-receptor negative myeloid cells. We show here that macrophage appearance in the AGM was dependent on the chemokine receptor Cx3cr1. These macrophages expressed a pro-inflammatory signature, localized to the aorta, and dynamically interacted with nascent and emerging intra-aortic hematopoietic cells (IAHCs). Importantly, upon macrophage depletion, no adult-repopulating HSCs were detected, thus implicating a role for pro-inflammatory AGM-associated macrophages in regulating the development of HSCs.

Keywords: AGM; CD206; Csf1r; Cx3cr1; MacGreen; hematopoietic development; hematopoietic stem cell; inflammation; macrophage; mannose receptor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Embryonic Development*
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Myeloid Cells / cytology
  • Myeloid Cells / metabolism


  • Biomarkers