Platelet Derived Growth Factor Receptor Alpha Is Essential for Establishing a Microenvironment That Supports Definitive Erythropoiesis

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The hematopoietic system undergoes a qualitative change during the embryogenesis of most vertebrates. It is designated as the shift of primitive to definitive hematopoiesis and suitable microenvironment must be established to support this shift. While studying the role of platelet derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFR α) in embryonic hematopoiesis, we found that it was expressed in a stromal cell component of liver, a major site of this shift, but not in the yolk sac, the site of primitive hematopoiesis. Thus, we considered that development of PDGFRα positive stromal cells is an essential requirement for this shift. Without PDFGRα positive cell component, erythropoiesis was suppressed in the culture of fetal liver. Moreover, injection of an antagonistic anti-PDGFRα monoclonal antibody during embryogenesis suppressed the production of definitive erythrocytes. These indicated that PDGF exerts its effect on a subset of stromal components to prepare a microenvironment that can support the definitive erythropoiesis.

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