Runx1 is required for the emergence of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) from hemogenic endothelium during embryogenesis. However, its role in the generation and maintenance of HSCs during adult hematopoiesis remains uncertain. Here, we present analysis of a zebrafish mutant line carrying a truncation mutation, W84X, in runx1. The runx1(W84X/W84X) embryos showed blockage in the initiation of definitive hematopoiesis, but some embryos were able to recover from a larval "bloodless" phase and develop to fertile adults with multilineage hematopoiesis. Using cd41-green fluorescent protein transgenic zebrafish and lineage tracing, we demonstrated that the runx1(W84X/W84X) embryos developed cd41(+) HSCs in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros region, which later migrated to the kidney, the site of adult hematopoiesis. Overall, our data suggest that in zebrafish adult HSCs can be formed without an intact runx1.
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