The chemokine SDF-1, stromal cell-derived factor 1, attracts early stage B cell precursors via the chemokine receptor CXCR4

Eur J Immunol. 1997 Jul;27(7):1788-93. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830270729.


In the bone marrow, progenitor (pro-) and precursor (pre-) B cells depend on close contact with stromal cells for growth and maturation. Stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1), also known as pre-B cell growth-stimulating factor, is produced by bone marrow stromal cells and was reported to act together with interleukin-7 as co-mitogen for pre-B cells. SDF-1 was recently shown to be a chemokine which is chemotactic for different types of leukocytes and acts via the chemokine receptor CXCR4. Using sorted B220+ bone marrow cells and several B cell lines characteristic for different stages of B lymphopoiesis, we now show that SDF-1 is a potent attractant for pro- and pre-B cells, but is inactive on B cells at later stages of development. In early B cell precursors, SDF-1 induced intracellular Ca2+ mobilization and in vitro migration with a potency and efficacy similar to that observed for chemokines acting on blood leukocytes. These responses were mediated via CXCR4 as they could be inhibited by an antireceptor antibody. SDF-1 is the first chemokine shown to act on early-stage B cell precursors. Mice lacking SDF-1 die perinatally and show a severe deficiency in B lymphopoiesis. We propose that SDF-1 released from the stromal cells exerts its critical hematopoietic function by selectively attracting and confining early B cell precursors within the bone marrow microenvironment that provides the necessary factors for growth and differentiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / drug effects
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • B-Lymphocytes / physiology
  • Bone Marrow / immunology
  • Bone Marrow / metabolism
  • Bone Marrow Cells
  • Cell Line
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Chemokines / metabolism
  • Chemokines / physiology*
  • Chemokines, CXC*
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / drug effects
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / immunology*
  • Female
  • GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / analysis
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • Receptors, HIV / physiology*
  • Stromal Cells / metabolism


  • CXCL12 protein, human
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Chemokines
  • Chemokines, CXC
  • Cxcl12 protein, mouse
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • Receptors, HIV
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens
  • GTP-Binding Proteins