Int. J. Dev. Biol. 54: 1079 - 1087 (2010)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.093047fd
© UPV/EHU Press

Allantois and placenta as developmental sources of hematopoietic stem cells

Françoise Dieterlen-Lièvre*,1, Catherine Corbel2 and Josselyne Salaün1

1Institut d’Embryologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire du CNRS et du Collège de France, Nogent-sur-Marne, France and 2Mammalian Developmental Epigenetics Group, CNRS UMR3215, INSERM U934, Institut Curie, Paris, France

ABSTRACT While the aortic region, the para-aortic splanchnopleura/aorta-gonads-mesonephros (P-Sp/AGM) is currently considered as the source of definitive hematopoietic stem cells during development, the mouse placenta has been found to generate large numbers of these cells and to remain functional in this respect for a longer period than the P-Sp/AGM. The fetal component, which derives from the fused allantois and chorion, is responsible for this activity. We and others have shown that the pre-fusion allantois (before the stage of 6 pairs of somites) is able to yield clonogenic progenitors, provided that it is pre-cultured in toto before it is dissociated into single cells and seeded in semi-solid medium. Thus placental hematopoiesis can be concluded to derive from intrinsic precursors. It is similar in this regard to the yolk sac which both produces hematopoietic progenitors and supports their multiplication and differentiation. Hematopoietic activity, detected by in vitro colony assays, has also been recently uncovered in the human placenta. According to the data available, this newly identified source probably provides a large number of HSC during development and must play a foremost role in founding the definitive hematopoietic system.


allantois, placenta, mouse, hematopoietic stem cell

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