Abstract: The hematopoietic system interacts with a supportive stromal environment allowing maintenance and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). The aorta-gonado-mesonephros (AGM) region serves as a unique embryonic microenvironment, generating the first adult repopulating HSCs in the mouse embryo. To eludicate factors involved in hematopoietic support and induction of hematopoietic differentiation, we isolated more than 100 stromal cell clones derived from the AGM region of embryonic day (E) 10.5 mouse embryos for functional and genetic analysis. Selected isolated AGM stromal cell lines are highly efficient in supporting maintenance and expansion of mouse and human hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. In addition, we can demonstrate for the first time that AGM stromal cell lines are also potent inducers of hematopoietic differentiation of murine embryonic stem cells. Stromal gene array analysis has identified genes that could play a role in hematopoietic support.