Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has become the standard of care for the treatment of many hematologic malignancies, chemotherapy sensitive relapsed acute leukemias or lymphomas, multiple myeloma; and for some non-malignant diseases such as aplastic anemia and immunodeficient states. The hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) resides in the bone marrow (BM). A number of chemokines and cytokines have been shown in vivo and in clinical trials to enhance trafficking of HSC into the peripheral blood. This process, termed stem cell mobilization, results in the collection of HSC via apheresis for both autologous and allogeneic transplantation. Enhanced understanding of HSC biology, processes involved in HSC microenvironmental interactions and the critical ligands, receptors and cellular proteases involved in HSC homing and mobilization, with an emphasis on G-CSF induced HSC mobilization, form the basis of this review. We will describe the key features and dynamic processes involved in HSC mobilization and focus on the key ligand-receptor pairs including CXCR4/SDF1, VLA4/VCAM1, CD62L/PSGL, CD44/HA, and Kit/KL. In addition we will describe food and drug administration (FDA) approved and agents currently in clinical development for enhancing HSC mobilization and transplantation outcomes. J. Cell. Biochem. 99: 690–705, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.