Role of c-kit/Kit ligand signaling in regulating vasculogenesis

Thromb Haemost. 2003 Oct;90(4):570-6. doi: 10.1160/TH03-03-0188.


Mobilization into peripheral blood of bone marrow-derived cells including hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), is regulated by chemokines/cytokines. These cells can contribute to the formation of new blood vessels (vasculogenesis) under pathological conditions including atherosclerosis, wound healing and tumor growth. We will review how these cells are mobilized into circulation, and supplied to the sites, where vessel formation is needed (i.e. ischemic tissue or tumor bed). We will give evidence that matrix metallo-proteinase-9 mediated Kit ligand (Stem cell factor) processing is essential for cell mobilization induced by chemo-/cytokines, like vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), Placental growth factor (PlGF), stromal cell derived factor-1 (SDF-1). These studies may provide the basis for the development of new therapeutic strategies for vascular diseases through targeting kit ligand mediated mobilization and homing of bone marrow-derived progenitor cells for cell therapy and cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Chemokines / physiology
  • Growth Substances / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Stem Cell Factor / physiology*
  • Stem Cells / cytology


  • Chemokines
  • Growth Substances
  • Stem Cell Factor
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit