, Volume 208, Issue 3, pp 219-224
Date: 20 May 2004

Expression pattern of VEGFR-2 (Quek1) during quail development

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The growth and maintenance of the blood and lymphatic vascular systems is to a large extent controlled by members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family via the tyrosine kinase receptors (VEGFRs) expressed in angioblastic cells. Here, we analyzed the Quek1 (VEGFR-2) expression pattern by whole mount in situ hybridization during quail development. During early embryogenesis, Quek1 expression was detected at the caudal end of the blastoderm and primitive streak and in the head paraxial mesoderm. In somites, expression was observed from HH-stage 9 onwards in the dorsolateral region of both the forming and recently formed somites. During somite maturation, expression persists in the lateral portion of the somitic compartments, the dermomyotome and the sclerotome. Additionally, a second expression domain in the maturing somite was observed in the medial part of the sclerotome adjacent to the neural tube. This expression domain extended medially and dorsally and surrounded the neural tube during later stages. In the notochord, expression was observed from HH-stage 23 onwards. In the limb bud, expression was initiated in the mesenchyme at HH-stage 17. During organogenesis, expression was detected in the pharyngeal arches and in the anlagen of the esophagus, trachea, stomach, lungs, liver, heart and gut. Expression was also seen in feather buds from day 7 onwards. Our results confirm the angiogenic potential of the mesoderm and suggest that VEGFR-2 expressing cells represent multiple pools of mesodermal precursors of the hematopoietic and angiopoietic lineages.