G-CSF: From granulopoietic stimulant to bone marrow stem cell mobilizing agent

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2014 Aug;25(4):355-67. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2014.07.011. Epub 2014 Jul 23.


G-CSF was among the first cytokines to be identified and rapidly transitioned into clinical medicine. Initially used to promote the production of neutrophils in patients with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia it helped to revolutionize the delivery of cancer therapy. Its ability to mobilize hematopoietic stem cells from the bone marrow into the blood was subsequently exploited, changing the face of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Today the knowledge gained in unraveling the mechanisms of stem cell mobilization by G-CSF is being explored as a means to increase chemosensitivity in hematological malignancies. This review provides a brief history of G-CSF and then focuses on recent advances in our understanding of G-CSF-induced stem cell mobilization and the potential clinical application of this knowledge in chemo-sensitization.

Keywords: Bone marrow microenvironment; Chemotherapy; G-CSF; Stem cell mobilization; Stem cell transplantation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bone Marrow Cells / metabolism
  • Chemokine CXCL12 / metabolism
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / therapeutic use*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Hematopoiesis
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neutropenia / drug therapy
  • Neutrophil Activation / drug effects*
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / metabolism


  • CXCL12 protein, human
  • CXCR4 protein, human
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor