Delta-mediated Notch signaling controls cell fate decisions during invertebrate and murine development. However, in the human, functional roles for Delta have yet to be described. This study reports the characterization of Delta-1 and Delta-4 in the human. Human Delta-4 was found to be expressed in a wide range of adult and fetal tissues, including sites of hematopoiesis. Subsets of immature hematopoietic cells, along with stromal and endothelial cells that support hematopoiesis, were shown to express Notch and both Delta-1 and Delta-4. Soluble forms of human Delta-1 (hDelta-1) and hDelta-4 proteins were able to augment the proliferation of primitive human hematopoietic progenitors in vitro. Intravenous transplantation of treated cultures into immune-deficient mice revealed that hDelta-1 is capable of expanding pluripotent human hematopoietic repopulating cells detected in vivo. This study provides the first evidence for a role of Delta ligands as a mitogenic regulator of primitive hematopoietic cells in the human.