Expression of EGFL7 in primordial germ cells and in adult ovaries and testes.
We have previously reported the isolation and characterization of a novel endothelial-restricted gene, Egfl7, that encodes a secreted protein of about 30-kDa. We and others demonstrated that Egfl7 is highly expressed by endothelial cells during embryonic development and becomes down-regulated in the adult vasculature. In the present paper, we show that during mouse embryonic development, Egfl7 is also expressed by primordial germ cells (PGC). Expression is down-regulated when PGCs differentiate into pro-spermatogonia and oogonia, and by 15.5 dpc Egfl7 can no longer be detected in the germ line of both sexes. Notably, Egfl7 is again transiently up-regulated in germ cells of the adult testis. In contrast, expression in the ovary remains limited to the vascular endothelium. Our results provide the first evidence of a non-endothelial expression of EGFL7 and suggest distinctive roles for Egfl7 in vascular development and germ cell differentiation.