CD1d expression demarcates CDX4+ hemogenic mesoderm with definitive hematopoietic potential

J. Philip Creamer, Stephanie A. Luff, Hao Yu, Christopher M. Sturgeon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To achieve efficient, reproducible differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) towards specific hematopoietic cell-types, a comprehensive understanding of the necessary cell signaling and developmental trajectories involved is required. Previous studies have identified the mesodermal progenitors of extra-embryonic-like and intra-embryonic-like hemogenic endothelium (HE), via stage-specific WNT and ACTIVIN/NODAL, with GYPA/GYPB (CD235a/b) expression serving as a positive selection marker for mesoderm harboring exclusively extra-embryonic-like hemogenic potential. However, a positive mesodermal cell-surface marker with exclusively intra-embryonic-like hemogenic potential has not been identified. Recently, we reported that early mesodermal expression of CDX4 critically regulates definitive HE specification, suggesting that CDX4 may act in a cell-autonomous manner during hematopoietic development. To identify CDX4+ mesoderm, we performed single cell (sc)RNAseq on hPSC-derived mesodermal cultures, revealing CDX4hi expressing mesodermal populations were uniquely enriched in the non-classical MHC-Class-1 receptor CD1D. Flow cytometry demonstrated approximately 60% of KDR+CD34-CD235a- mesoderm was CD1d+, and CDX4 was robustly enriched within CD1d+ mesoderm. Critically, only CD1d+ mesoderm harbored CD34+ HOXA+ HE with multilineage erythroid-myeloid-lymphoid potential. Thus, CDX4+CD1d+ expression within early mesoderm demarcates an early progenitor of HE. These insights may be used for further study of human hematopoietic development and improve hematopoietic differentiation conditions for regenerative medicine applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102808
JournalStem Cell Research
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • CD1d
  • CDX
  • Definitive hematopoiesis
  • Hemogenic endothelium
  • Hemogenic mesoderm
  • Human pluripotent stem cells


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