CD34 expression patterns during early mouse development are related to modes of blood vessel formation and reveal additional sites of hematopoiesis

Blood. 1997 Sep 15;90(6):2300-11.


CD34 is a cell surface glycoprotein that is selectively expressed within the human hematopoietic system on stem and progenitor cells, and in early blood vessels. To elucidate its functions during early blood vessel formation and hematopoiesis, we analyzed the expression patterns, in day 8 to day 10 mouse embryos, of CD34 RNA by in situ hybridization and protein by immunohistochemistry using the monclonal antibody RAM 34. Levels of expression in embryonic blood vessels were correlated with the mode of vessel formation, being high in pre-endothelial cells and in vessels forming by vasculogenesis (particularly the dorsal aortae) or angiogenesis, but low in vessels forming by coalescence (the cardinal veins). CD34+ erythroid cells, presumably of yolk sac origin, were present in the liver of day 10 embryos; at the same stage, putative definitive hematopoietic cells, strongly CD34+, were present in the para-aortic mesenchyme. Possible sites of hemangioblastic differentiation were detected in the form of CD34+ endothelium-attached hematopoietic cells in the dorsal aorta and in two previously unreported locations, the proximal umbilical and vitelline arteries. These observations suggest functions for CD34 in relation to specific modes of blood vessel formation, and a hemangioblastic role in both embryonic and extraembryonic sites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Allantois / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / immunology
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Antigens, CD34 / genetics
  • Antigens, CD34 / immunology
  • Antigens, CD34 / metabolism*
  • Epitope Mapping
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Glycosylation
  • Hematopoiesis*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / embryology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Yolk Sac / metabolism


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD34