Analysis of the Spatiotemporal Development of Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells in the Early Human Embryo

Jennifer Easterbrook, Stanislav Rybtsov, Sabrina Gordon-Keylock, Andrejs Ivanovs, Samir Taoudi, Richard A. Anderson, Alexander Medvinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Definitive hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs)first emerge in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros (AGM)region in both mice and humans. An ex vivo culture approach has enabled recapitulation and analysis of murine HSC development. Knowledge of early human HSC development is hampered by scarcity of tissue: analysis of both CFU-C and HSC development in the human embryo is limited. Here, we characterized the spatial distribution and temporal kinetics of CFU-C development within early human embryonic tissues. We then sought to adapt the murine ex vivo culture system to recapitulate human HSC development. We show robust expansion of CFU-Cs and maintenance, but no significant expansion, of human HSCs in culture. Furthermore, we demonstrate that HSCs emerge predominantly in the middle section of the dorsal aorta in our culture system. We conclude that there are important differences between early mouse and human hematopoiesis, which currently hinder the quest to recapitulate human HSC development ex vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1056-1068
Number of pages13
JournalStem Cell Reports
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • fetal liver
  • hematopoietic progenitors
  • hematopoietic stem cells
  • human embryo
  • yolk sac

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine
  • 3.2 Clinical medicine
  • 1.6 Biological sciences
  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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