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Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) reside in specialized bone marrow microenvironmental niches, with vascular elements (endothelial/mesenchymal stromal cells) and CXCR4-CXCL12 interactions playing particularly important roles for HSPC entry, retention, and maintenance. The functional effects of CXCL12 are dependent on its local concentration and rely on complex HSPC-niche interactions. Two Junctional Adhesion Molecule family proteins, Junctional Adhesion Molecule-B (JAM)-B and JAM-C, are reported to mediate HSPC-stromal cell interactions, which in turn regulate CXCL12 production by mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Here, we demonstrate that another JAM family member, JAM-A, is most highly expressed on human hematopoietic stem cells with in vivo repopulating activity (p < .01 for JAM-A(high) compared to JAM-A(Int or Low) cord blood CD34(+) cells). JAM-A blockade, silencing, and overexpression show that JAM-A contributes significantly (p < .05) to the adhesion of human HSPCs to IL-1β activated human bone marrow sinusoidal endothelium. Further studies highlight a novel association of JAM-A with CXCR4, with these molecules moving to the leading edge of the cell upon presentation with CXCL12 (p < .05 compared to no CXCL12). Therefore, we hypothesize that JAM family members differentially regulate CXCR4 function and CXCL12 secretion in the bone marrow niche. Stem Cells 2016;34:1664-1678.

Original publication




Journal article


Stem Cells

Publication Date





1664 - 1678


CXCL12, CXCR4, Hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, JAM-A, NSG transplants, Vascular niche, AC133 Antigen, Antigens, CD34, Bone Marrow Cells, Cell Adhesion, Chemokine CXCL12, Endothelial Cells, Fetal Blood, Gene Knockdown Techniques, HL-60 Cells, Hematopoietic Stem Cells, Humans, Junctional Adhesion Molecule A, Jurkat Cells, Protein Binding, Receptors, CXCR4, Stem Cell Niche