[en] Using different experimental approaches, it has been established that transplantability of hematopoietic/stem progenitor cells is ineffective during transit through the cell cycle. Although primitive stem cells are responsive to mitogenic stimulation in optimized ex vivo conditions, defective engraftment of generated cells may limit their detection in standard transplantation models as well as their use in clinical cell therapy. The activation level of adhesion receptors is modulated by stimulation of cytokine receptors via "inside-out" signaling. This prompted us to study the interactions of progenitor cells with fibronectin (Fn) in different phases of the cell cycle. We first demonstrated that adhesion to Fn was stimulated in S/G2 + M as compared to G0/G1, in ex vivo cultured CD34+ cells, with a predominant usage of very late antigen (VLA)-5 over that of VLA-4. We next determined that maximal Fn binding in active phases of the cell cycle limited cell motility toward stromal cell-conditioned medium. It was also observed that VLA-4 and VLA-5 ability to mediate adhesion or migration varied independently during cell cycle transit. Finally, in synchronized progenitor cells executing a first cell cycle ex vivo, a reversible increase in Fn binding was associated with a reversible decrease in adhesion to vascular cell-adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1. Overall, these observations suggest that defective engraftment of cycling stem/progenitor cells may result, at least in part, from abnormal trafficking related to changes in the activation level of adhesion receptors.