Stem cell homing: From physiology to therapeutics

Stem Cells. 2020 Oct 1;38(10):1241-1253. doi: 10.1002/stem.3242. Epub 2020 Jul 21.


Stem cell homing is a multistep endogenous physiologic process that is also used by exogenously administered hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs). This multistep process involves cell migration and is essential for hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The process can be manipulated to enhance ultimate engraftment potential, and understanding stem cell homing is also important to the understanding of stem cell mobilization. Homing is also of potential importance in the recruitment of marrow mesenchymal stem and stromal cells (MSCs) to sites of injury and regeneration. This process is less understood but assumes importance when these cells are used for repair purposes. In this review, the process of HSPC and MSC homing is examined, as are methods to enhance this process.

Keywords: cell migration; hematopoietic stem cells; homing; mesenchymal stem cells; mesenchymal stromal cells; mobilization.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Cell Movement
  • Embryonic Development
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Mobilization
  • Humans
  • Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*