Modulation of Hematopoietic Stem/Progenitor Cell Migration

  • Thomas DittmarEmail author
  • Susannah H. Kassmer
  • Benjamin Kasenda
  • Jeanette Seidel
  • Bernd Niggemann
  • Kurt S. Zänker


The ability to migrate is an innate and fundamental function of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) enabling them to leave and to return to the bone marrow, as well as to be recruited to injured tissues. The latter property of HSPCs concomitantly with their ability to transdifferentiate, thereby restoring the integrity of damaged tissues, raised great expectations for regenerative medicine purposes. It is well recognized that the migration of HSPCs is initiated and maintained by the chemokine stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α). SDF-1α is expressed by bone marrow stroma cells, thereby generating a gradient, which directs the HSPC homing to the bone marrow. Likewise, SDF-1α is released by endothelial cells in close proximity of damaged organ tissue, thereby attracting HSPCs to sites of injury, which thereupon participate in tissue repair. It is of interest that most studies deal with the investigation of the SDF-1α-mediated induction of HSPC migration concomitantly with the decipherment of signal transduction cascades engaged by the SDF-1α receptor CXCR4. By contrast, considerably less is known about factors, conditions, and mechanisms that modulate the SDF-1α induced HSPC migration. Here we will give an overview about our research dealing with this topic and will show that the SDF-1α mediated migratory activity of cultured HSPCs strongly depends on the cytokines/cytokine combinations being used for HSPC cultivation. In fact, the removal of only one factor from a cytokine cocktail, which give rise to highly SDF-1α susceptible HSPCs, will yield in cells, which migratory activity is inhibited by SDF-1α. Additionally, we will also summarize our results concerning factors that might act as stop-signals for the SDF-1α induced migration of HSPCs, which may play a role in the termination of HSPC migration.


Hematopoietic stem/Progenitor cells Cell migration Homing SDF-1α CXCR4 Signal transduction Termination of cell migration Culture conditions Cytokines Chemokines 



This work was supported by the Fritz-Bender-Foundation, Munich, Germany.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Dittmar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Susannah H. Kassmer
    • 2
  • Benjamin Kasenda
    • 3
  • Jeanette Seidel
    • 4
  • Bernd Niggemann
    • 5
  • Kurt S. Zänker
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Immunology, Witten/Herdecke UniversityWittenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Laboratory MedicineYale Stem Cell Center, Yale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Department of Hematology and OncologyUniversity of Freiburg Medical CenterFreiburgGermany
  4. 4.Medizinische Klinik II m. S. Hämatologie/OnkologieBerlinGermany
  5. 5.Institute of Immunology, Witten/Herdecke UniversityWittenGermany

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