Wnt9a Is Required for the Aortic Amplification of Nascent Hematopoietic Stem Cells

Stephanie Grainger, Jenna Richter, Raquel Espín Palazón, Claire Pouget, Brianna Lonquich, Sara Wirth, Kathrin Sabine Grassme, Wiebke Herzog, Matthew R. Swift, Brant M. Weinstein, David Traver, Karl Willert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


All mature blood cell types in the adult animal arise from hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). However, the developmental cues regulating HSPC ontogeny are incompletely understood. In particular, the details surrounding a requirement for Wnt/β-catenin signaling in the development of mature HSPCs are controversial and difficult to consolidate. Using zebrafish, we demonstrate that Wnt signaling is required to direct an amplification of HSPCs in the aorta. Wnt9a is specifically required for this process and cannot be replaced by Wnt9b or Wnt3a. This proliferative event occurs independently of initial HSPC fate specification, and the Wnt9a input is required prior to aorta formation. HSPC arterial amplification occurs prior to seeding of secondary hematopoietic tissues and proceeds, in part, through the cell cycle regulator myca (c-myc). Our results support a general paradigm, in which early signaling events, including Wnt, direct later HSPC developmental processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1595-1606
Number of pages12
JournalCell reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
IWP-L6 was a gift from L. Lum. We thank R. Rainville and K. Ong for fish husbandry; E. D. O’Connor, C. Fine, and K. E. Marquez for FACS assistance; and C. Bickers, E. Butko, B. Weijts, and N. Del Cid for technical assistance and reading of the manuscript. S.G. was supported by awards from the American Heart Association ( 14POST18340021 ) and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society ( 5431-15 ). J.R. was supported in part by theμCSD Interdisciplinary Stem Cell Training Program (CIRM TG2-01154). This work was supported in part by funding to K.W. from the UCSD Stem Cell Program and was made possible in part by the CIRM Major Facilities grant ( FA1-00607 ) to the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine. D.T. was supported by Scholar Award 1657-13 from The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and CIRM ( RB4-06158 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 The Author(s)


  • HSCs
  • HSPCs
  • Myc
  • Wnt
  • Wnt9a
  • aorta
  • hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells
  • hematopoietic stem cells
  • proliferation


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