The vascular niche controls Drosophila hematopoiesis via fibroblast growth factor signaling

Elife. 2021 Jan 4;10:e64672. doi: 10.7554/eLife.64672.


In adult mammals, hematopoiesis, the production of blood cells from hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs), is tightly regulated by extrinsic signals from the microenvironment called 'niche'. Bone marrow HSPCs are heterogeneous and controlled by both endosteal and vascular niches. The Drosophila hematopoietic lymph gland is located along the cardiac tube which corresponds to the vascular system. In the lymph gland, the niche called Posterior Signaling Center controls only a subset of the heterogeneous hematopoietic progenitor population indicating that additional signals are necessary. Here we report that the vascular system acts as a second niche to control lymph gland homeostasis. The FGF ligand Branchless produced by vascular cells activates the FGF pathway in hematopoietic progenitors. By regulating intracellular calcium levels, FGF signaling maintains progenitor pools and prevents blood cell differentiation. This study reveals that two niches contribute to the control ofDrosophila blood cell homeostasis through their differential regulation of progenitors.

Keywords: D. melanogaster; Drosophila; FGF signaling; cardiac/vascular cells; developmental biology; hematopoiesis; lymph gland; microenvironment/niche.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Drosophila / physiology*
  • Fibroblast Growth Factors / metabolism*
  • Hematopoiesis / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Fibroblast Growth Factors

Grants and funding

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.