Directing fate through lineage interactions
From embryonic day (E) 7.0 haematopoietic cells appear; this occurs first in the yolk sac. At E10.5, although mature haematopoietic cells and haematopoietic progenitors are present in both the yolk sac and within multiple tissues of the embryo proper, the yolk sac remains a focus of haematopoiesis. We are interested in understanding why this is.
Within the yolk sac haematopoietic cells are in close contact with multiple cell types, particularly the endothelium (shown in (A) in the figure below).
We are currently investigating if/how these multi-lineage associations control the decision of haematopoietic progenitors to either expand their numbers or undergo haematopoietic differentiation (shown in (B) in the figure below).