In adulthood, the continuous generation of blood cells relies on the existence of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), which have the ability to self-renew and generate all blood cell types. Any pathology affecting these cells could lead to the development of serious diseases such as leukemia and anemia. HSC are formed during embryonic life from endothelial cells, building blocks of the vascular system, which is responsible for blood circulation in the body. This process is called endothelial to hematopoietic transition (EHT). Using single-cell transcriptomics, we are uncovering the different populations involved in the process of HSCs’ formation. We are also using this method to understand how transcription factors regulate this process essential for the continuous oxygenation of the body and the establishment of the immune system protecting us from pathogens.
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