It is now evident that hemopoietic stem cells (HSC) are located in close proximity to bone lining cells within the endosteum. Accordingly, it is unlikely that the traditional method for harvesting bone marrow (BM) from mice by simply flushing long bones would result in optimal recovery of HSC. With this in mind, we have developed improved methodologies based on sequential grinding and enzymatic digestion of murine bone tissue to harvest higher numbers of BM cells and HSC from the endosteal and central marrow regions. This methodology resulted in up to a sixfold greater recovery of primitive hemopoietic cells (lineage(-)Sca(+)Kit(+) [LSK] cells) and HSC as shown by transplant studies. HSC from different anatomical regions of the marrow exhibited important functional differences. Compared with their central marrow counterparts, HSC isolated from the endosteal region (a) had 1.8-fold greater proliferative potential, (b) exhibited almost twofold greater ability to home to the BM following tail vein injection and to lodge in the endosteal region, and (c) demonstrated significantly greater long-term hemopoietic reconstitution potential as shown using limiting dilution competitive transplant assays.