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Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2007;(180):3-36.

Mobilization of bone marrow-derived progenitors.

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Biotherapy Program, Mater Medical Research Institute, University of Queensland, Aubigny Place, Raymond Terrace, 4101 South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


Bone marrow (BM) is a source of various stem and progenitor cells in the adult, and it is able to regenerate a variety of tissues following transplantation. In the 1970s the first BM stem cells identified were hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). HSCs have the potential to differentiate into all myeloid (including erythroid) and lymphoid cell lineages in vitro and reconstitute the entire hematopoietic and immune systems following transplantation in vivo. More recently, nonhematopoietic stem and progenitor cells have been identified that can differentiate into other cell types such as endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), contributing to the neovascularization of tumors as well as ischemic tissues, and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are able to differentiate into many cells of ectodermal, endodermal, and mesodermal origins in vitro as well as in vivo. Following adequate stimulation, stem and progenitor cells can be forced out of the BM to circulate into the peripheral blood, a phenomenon called "mobilization." This chapter reviews the molecular mechanisms behind mobilization and how these have led to the various strategies employed to mobilize BM-derived stem and progenitor cells in experimental and clinical settings. Mobilization of HSCs will be reviewed first, as it has been best-explored--being used extensively in clinics to transplant large numbers of HSCs to rescue cancer patients requiring hematopoietic reconstitution--and provides a paradigm that can be generalized to the mobilization of other types of BM-derived stem and progenitor cells in order to repair other tissues.

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