Human lactoferrin (LF) has been reported to inhibit in vitro granulopoiesis by means of decreasing colony-stimulating activity production by monocytes. We performed a series of experiments to determine if the reported experimental results could be replicated using highly purified murine LF and murine target cells. Three different types of experiments were performed. (1) Medium was conditioned by lung, femoral shaft, and adherent peritoneal cells in the presence and absence of LF, and the granulopoietic stimulating activity in the conditioned media was assayed by means of a 7-day agar colony assay and a 3-day liquid slide chamber assay, which quantitates 3H-TdR incorporation into DNA. (2) In cultures stimulated by an underlayer of adherent peritoneal cells, marrow cell colony formation in agar was determined after 7 days of culture in the presence or absence of LF. (3) LF was added to 3-day liquid marrow cell cultures that had been stimulated by lung or femoral shaft conditioned media. In all experimental situations, highly purified, iron-saturated LF in concentrations up to 10(-7) M had no effect on in vitro granulopoiesis. These results do not support LF's reputed regulatory role in granulopoiesis.