The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 54: 1045 - 1054 (2010)

Vol 54, Issue 6-7

Special Issue: Developmental Hematopoiesis

Aortic remodelling during hemogenesis: is the chicken paradigm unique?

Published: 17 July 2010

Thierry Jaffredo*, Charlotte Richard, Claire Pouget, Marie-Aimée Teillet, Karine Bollérot, Rodolphe Gautier and Cécile Drevon

CNRS and UPMC UMR7622, Laboratoire de Biologie du Développement, Paris, France


Since the era of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, the avian embryo has been a subject of intense interest to visualize the first steps of development. It has served as a pioneer model to scrutinize the question of hematopoietic development from the beginning of the 20th century. It's large size and easy accessibility have permitted the development of techniques dedicated to following the origins and fates of different cell populations. Here, we shall review how the avian model has brought major contributions to our understanding of the development of the hematopoietic system in the past four decades and how these discoveries have influenced our knowledge of mammalian hematopoietic development. The discovery of an intra-embryonic source of hematopoietic cells and the developmental link between endothelial cells and hematopoietic cells will be presented. We shall then point to the pivotal role of the somite in the construction of the aorta and hematopoietic production and demonstrate how two somitic compartments cooperate to construct the definitive aorta. We shall finish by showing how fate-mapping experiments have allowed the identification of the tissue which gives rise to the sub-aortic mesenchyme. Taken together, this review aims to give an overview of how and to what extent the avian embryo has contributed to our knowledge of developmental hematopoiesis.


avian embryo, hemogenic endothelium, aorta, somite, smooth muscle cells, Runx1

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