The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 54: 1127 - 1137 (2010)

Vol 54, Issue 6-7

Special Issue: Developmental Hematopoiesis

Hematopoietic development in the zebrafish

Open Access | Review | Published: 14 July 2010

Elizabeth J. Paik and Leonard I. Zon*

Stem Cell Program and Division of Hematology/Oncology, Children’s Hospital Boston and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA


The model organism Danio rerio, also known as the zebrafish, is an excellent system for studying the developmental process of hematopoiesis. It is an ideal model for in vivo imaging, and it is useful for large-scale genetic screens. These have led to the discovery of previously unknown players in hematopoiesis, as well as helped our understanding of hematopoietic development. In this review, we will summarize hematopoiesis in the zebrafish and discuss how genetic approaches using the zebrafish system have helped to build our current knowledge in the field of hematopoiesis.


hematopoietic stem cell, HSC, hemangioblast, primitive hematopoiesis, definitive hematopoiesis

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