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Endothelial cell-selective adhesion molecule precursor [UNQ220/PRO246]


The endothelial antigen ESAM marks primitive hematopoietic progenitors throughout life in mice.

Although recent advances have enabled hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to be enriched to near purity, more information about their characteristics will improve our understanding of their development and stage-related functions. Here, using microarray technology, we identified endothelial cell-selective adhesion molecule (ESAM) as a novel marker for murine HSCs in fetal liver. Esam was expressed at high levels within a Rag1(-) c-kit(Hi) Sca1( ) HSC-enriched fraction, but sharply down-regulated with activation of the Rag1 locus, a valid marker for the most primitive lymphoid progenitors in E14.5 liver. The HSC-enriched fraction could be subdivided into 2 on the basis of ESAM levels. Among endothelial antigens on hematopoietic progenitors, ESAM expression showed intimate correlation with HSC activity. The ESAM(Hi) population was highly enriched for multipotent myeloid-erythroid progenitors and primitive progenitors with lymphopoietic activity, and exclusively reconstituted long-term lymphohematopoiesis in lethally irradiated recipients. Tie2( ) c-kit( ) lymphohematopoietic cells in the E9.5-10.5 aorta-gonad-mesonephros region also expressed high levels of ESAM. Furthermore, ESAM was detected on primitive hematopoietic progenitors in adult bone marrow. Interestingly, ESAM expression in the HSC-enriched fraction was up-regulated in aged mice. We conclude that ESAM marks HSC in murine fetal liver and will facilitate studies of hematopoiesis throughout life.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Endothelial Cells
  • Female
  • Fetus
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Knock-In Techniques
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells
  • Liver
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis