Int. J. Dev. Biol. 46: 827 - 830 (2002)
© UBC Press

Expression of alphaVbeta3 integrin in the chick embryo aortic endothelium.

Catherine Corbel

Institut d'Embryologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire du Collège de France, Nogent/Marne.

ABSTRACT The integrin chain alphaV, expressed in association with beta3, by cells of the megakaryocytic/thrombocytic and endothelial lineages is thought to play an important role in angiogenesis. alphaVbeta3 expression by endothelial cells is not constitutive but induced by various stimuli in avian and human models. Here the developmental pattern of alphaVbeta3 expression was analysed in the chick embryo by immunocytochemistry, using a specific monoclonal antibody. On day 2 of development alphaVbeta3 expression was restricted to rare cells in the blood stream, in the embryo proper and in the yolk sac blood islands. AlphaVbeta3 expression by endothelial cells became detectable on day 3 and was restricted to the dorsal aorta. Interestingly it was absent from the intra-aortic hemopoietic clusters (E3.5) which, as we have showed previously, express the alphaIIbbeta3 integrin and display progenitor potentialities. However the endothelium underlying intra-embryonic hemopoietic clusters expressed this integrin. In contrast E6-7 para-aortic hemopoietic foci contained numerous alphaVbeta3 positive cells. Both alphaVbeta3 and alphaIIbbeta3 were expressed in these latter hemopoietic sites, while alphaVbeta3 was still selectively expressed by the aortic endothelium until E6. Thereafter, at E7 the pulmonary artery also expressed it. Since alphaIIbbeta3 is expressed by avian and murine multilineage hemopoietic progenitors, we then studied the hemopoietic potentialities of alphaVbeta3/alphaIIbeta3 double positive cells from embryonic bone marrow differentiating in vitro in erythro-myeloid conditions. Thrombocytic, erythroid and myeloid progenitor potentialities were found within the cell population expressing both beta3 integrins.