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Blood. 1998 Aug 1;92(3):894-900.

Role of adhesion molecules in the homing and mobilization of murine hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells.

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CNRS URA 1461, Université Paris V, Hôpital Necker, Paris, France.


Bone marrow (BM) transplantation still must overcome multiple difficulties and should benefit from better understanding of stem-cell homing and mobilization. Here, we analyzed the involvement of several adhesion molecules in the two processes by treating mice with monoclonal antibodies against these molecules. Treatment of lethally irradiated mice grafted with isogeneic BM cells showed that at least two migration pathways are important for stem-cell homing to the BM, whereas only one of them is involved in lodging of colony-forming unit-spleen (CFU-S) in the spleen. We confirm that the VLA-4/VCAM-1 adhesion pathway is important for stem-cell homing to the BM only and show that CD44 is involved in CFU-S lodging in both BM and spleen. These results show that entry of CFU-S into the spleen is regulated. The observation that when one migration pathway is altered, CFU-S do not enter the BM via the other pathway may indicate that the two mechanisms involved in CFU-S homing into the BM are linked. The adhesion molecules VLA-4 and CD44 are also implied in the mobilization of stem cells into the blood stream of mice injected once with anti-VLA-4 or anti-CD44. Anti-VLA-4 administration led to a significant increase in circulating stem cells as early as 8 hours after treatment. Stem cells mobilized by anti-VLA-4 comprise cells with high self-renewal potential and thus may be used for long-term reconstitution of the hematopoietic tissue.

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