• mesenchymal cells;
  • erythropoiesis;
  • in vitro angiogenesis;
  • cell differentiation;
  • bone marrow;
  • bone formation;
  • megakaryocytes;
  • embryogenesis;
  • osteoblasts;
  • protein location


We recently described a novel protein in bone marrow of rats, RP59, as a marker for cells with the capacity to differentiate into osteoblasts. In this work, its expression pattern was further investigated to learn about the origin and biological relevance of RP59 expressing marrow cells. As revealed by in situ hybridization and by immunohistochemistry of yolk sac embryos, RP59 was found in the cells of the primitive ectoderm and primitive streak as well as in blood islands and extraembryonal mesoderm. Later, RP59 occurred in fetal liver cells and in circulating blood. From the time around birth, it was found in bone marrow and spleen cells. In addition, in vitro–formed blood vessels contained RP59-positive cells in the lumen. Endothelial cells and the vast majority of cells outside the blood vessels were not labeled. Concerning more mature hematopoietic cell types, RP59 was observed in megakaryocytes and nucleated erythroblasts, but absent from lymphoid cells. In conclusion, RP59 was induced in early mesoderm. It was maintained in the erythroid and megakaryotic lineages and, as earlier described, in young osteoblasts. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.