Stepwise arteriovenous fate acquisition during mammalian vasculogenesis

Diana C. Chong, Yeon Koo, Ke Xu, Stephen Fu, Ondine Cleaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Arteriovenous (AV) differentiation is a critical step during blood vessel formation and stabilization. Defects in arterial or venous fate lead to inappropriate fusion of vessels, resulting in damaging arteriovenous shunts. While many studies have unraveled the molecular underpinnings that drive AV fate, surprisingly, the spatiotemporal emergence of arteries and veins in mammalian embryos remains unknown. Here, we examine artery and vein specification and differentiation during vasculogenesis. We show that the first intraembryonic vessels formed are arteries, which differentiate in a stepwise manner. By contrast, veins emerge later, progressively forming after embryonic turning. In addition, we demonstrate that hemodynamic flow is not required for arterial specification, but is required for maintenance of select arterial markers. Together, our results provide a first spatiotemporal analysis of mammalian AV cell fate establishment and anatomy, as well as a delineation of a molecular toolkit for analysis of arteries and veins during early vessel development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2153-2165
Number of pages13
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Aorta
  • Arteriovenous fate
  • Artery
  • Blood flow
  • Cx40
  • Dll4
  • Hemodynamics
  • Vasculogenesis
  • Vein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology


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