Methods in Molecular Biology Volume 750, 2011, pp 277-289
Date: 04 May 2011

Pathways Implicated in Stem Cell Migration: The SDF-1/CXCR4 Axis

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The hallmark of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) is their motility, which is essential for their function, such as recruitment upon demand. Stromal Derived Factor-1 (SDF-1, CXCL12) and its major receptor CXCR4 play major roles in stem cell motility and development. In vitro migration assays, implicating either gradients or cell surface-bound forms of SDF-1, are easy to perform and provide vital information regarding directional and random stem cell motility, which correlate with their repopulation potential in clinical and experimental transplantations. In vivo stem cell homing to the bone marrow, their retention, engraftment, and egress to the circulation, all involve SDF-1/CXCR4 interactions. Finally, other stem cell features such as stem cell survival and proliferation, are also dependent on the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis.