The Notch ligand, Jagged-1, plays an essential role in tissue formation during embryonic development of primitive organisms. However, little is known regarding the role of Jagged-1 in the regulation of tissue-specific stem cells or its function in humans. Here, we show that uncommitted human hematopoietic cells and cells that comprise the putative blood stem cell microenvironment express Jagged-1 and the Notch receptors. Addition of a soluble form of human Jagged-1 to cultures of purified primitive human blood cells had modest effects in augmenting cytokine-induced proliferation of progenitors. However, intravenous transplantation of cultured cells into immunodeficient mice revealed that human (h)Jagged-1 induces the survival and expansion of human stem cells capable of pluripotent repopulating capacity. Our findings demonstrate that hJagged-1 represents a novel growth factor of human stem cells, thereby providing an opportunity for the clinical utility of Notch ligands in the expansion of primitive cells capable of hematopoietic reconstitution.