Stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1/CXCL12) and its receptor CXCR4 are implicated in the pathogenesis and prognosis of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). Cellular microparticles, submicron vesicles shed from the plasma membrane of various cells, are also associated with human pathology. In the present study, we investigated the putative relationships between the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis and microparticles in AML. We detected CXCR4-expressing microparticles (CXCR4+ microparticles) in the peripheral blood and bone marrow plasma samples of normal donors and newly diagnosed adult AML patients. In samples from AML patients, levels of CXCR4+ microparticles and total SDF-1 were elevated compared with normal individuals. The majority of CXCR4 + microparticles in AML patients were CD45+, whereas in normal individuals, they were mostly CD41+. Importantly, we found a strong correlation between the levels of CXCR4+ microparticle and WBC count in the peripheral blood and bone marrow plasma obtained from the AML patients. Of interest, levels of functional, noncleaved SDF-1 were reduced in these patients compared with normal individuals and also strongly correlated with the WBC count. Furthermore, our data indicate NH2-terminal truncation of the CXCR4 molecule in the microparticles of AML patients. However, such microparticles were capable of transferring the CXCR4 molecule to AML-derived HL-60 cells, enhancing their migration to SDF-1 in vitro and increasing their homing to the bone marrow of irradiated NOD/SCID/β2m null mice. The CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100 reduced these effects. Our findings suggest that functional CXCR4+ microparticles and SDF-1 are involved in the progression of AML. We propose that their levels are potentially valuable as an additional diagnostic AML variable.