Chemotactic factors produced by stromal cells in the bone marrow are characterized. Two kinds of factors produced by stromal cell lines are identified using blind-well Boyden's Chambers; one is a neutrophil-chemotactic factor and the other a hematopoietic stem cell (HSC)-chemotactic factor. The latter attracts blastic cells in a low-density fraction, which are Thy1lo, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA)hi, H-2Khi, Ly-1-, Ly-2-,L3T4-,Ly5-, and slg-. The molecular weight of this HSC-chemotactic factor is estimated to be more than 200 kD. Putative cytokines and growth factors, such as granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (CSF), macrophage CSF, granulocyte-macrophage CSF, stem cell factor (SCF), interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-3, do not possess HSC-chemotactic activity. These findings strongly suggest that bone marrow stromal cells produce a new factor that attracts HSCs.