Objectives:: Although adequate numbers of hematopoietic progenitor cells reside in the human bone marrow, the extent of endogenous neovascularization after myocardial infarction remains insufficient. The aim of this study was to identify the role of the CXC chemokine receptor 4/stromal cell-derived factor 1 axis in the mobilization and homing of hematopoietic progenitor cells in the ischemic heart. Methods: Human bone marrow-derived hematopoietic progenitor cells or saline were injected systemically into athymic nude rats 48 hours after myocardial infarction. Myocardial and bone marrow expression of stromal cell-derived factor 1 and chemotaxis of hematopoietic progenitor cells were measured in vitro in the presence or absence of stromal cell-derived factor 1. The role of the CXC chemokine receptor 4/stromal cell-derived factor 1 axis was investigated by means of antibody blockade or systemic administration of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. Morphologic analysis included measurement of the infarct area, capillary density, and apoptosis, whereas left ventricular function was measured by means of echocardiographic analysis. Results: Expression of postinfarct stromal cell-derived factor 1 was increased by 67% in the bone marrow and decreased by 43% in myocardium. Disruption of bone marrow stromal cell-derived factor 1/CXC chemokine receptor 4 interactions by antibody blockade resulted in a redirection of human hematopoietic progenitor cells from the bone marrow to the ischemic heart and augmented neovascularization and cardiomyocyte survival. Similarly, systemic administration of granulocyte colony-stimulating factor to block CXC chemokine receptor 4/stromal cell-derived factor 1 interaction resulted in increased mobilization and homing of hematopoietic progenitor cells to the ischemic heart, which translated to augmented myocardial neovascularization, prevention of apoptosis, and improved cardiac function. Conclusions: Bone marrow stromal cell-derived factor 1 upregulation after myocardial ischemia prevents mobilization of endogenous hematopoietic progenitor cells. We provide evidence that disruption of stromal cell-derived factor 1/CXC chemokine receptor 4 interactions allows redirection of hematopoietic progenitor cells to ischemic myocardium and enhances recovery of left ventricular function.