Mice deficient in the Flk-1 receptor tyrosine kinase are known to die in utero because of defective vascular and hematopoietic development. Here, we show that flk-1-/- embryonic stem cells are nevertheless able to differentiate into hematopoietic and endothelial cells in vitro, although they give rise to a greatly reduced number of blast colonies, a measure of hemangioblast potential. Furthermore, normal numbers of hematopoietic progenitors are found in 7.5-day postcoitum flk-1-/- embryos, even though 8.5-day postcoitum flk-1-/- embryos are known to be deficient in such cells. Our results suggest that hematopoietic endothelial progenitors arise independently of Flk-1, but that their subsequent migration and expansion require a Flk-1-mediated signal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2159-2164
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2 1999


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