The hematopoietic microenvironment provides a complex molecular milieu that regulates the self-renewal and differentiation activities of stem cells. We have characterized a stem cell supportive stromal cell line, AFT024, that was derived from murine fetal liver. Highly purified in vivo transplantable mouse stem cells are maintained in AFT024 cultures at input levels, whereas other primitive progenitors are expanded. In addition, human stem cells are very effectively supported by AFT024. We suggest that the AFT024 cell line represents a component of an in vivo stem cell niche. To determine the molecular signals elaborated in this niche, we undertook a functional genomics approach that combines extensive sequence mining of a subtracted cDNA library, high-density array hybridization and in-depth bioinformatic analyses. The data have been assembled into a biological process oriented database, and represent a molecular profile of a candidate stem cell niche.