The effects of recombinant human interleukin-3 (IL-3) and recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) on the growth of myeloid progenitor cells (CFU-C) in semisolid agar culture were studied in two patients with Kostmann-type congenital neutropenia. CFU-C growth in bone marrow cells from patients was significantly reduced in response to various concentrations of either IL-3 or G-CSF alone, compared with that from normal subjects. There was no inhibitory effect of bone marrow cells from patients on normal CFU-C formation supported by IL-3 or G-CSF. However, the simultaneous stimulation with IL-3 and G- CSF induced the increase of CFU-C formation in patients with congenital neutropenia. Furthermore, CFU-C growth in both patients was supported when bone marrow cells were preincubated with IL-3 in liquid culture followed by the stimulation with G-CSF in semisolid agar culture. In contrast, that was not supported by the preincubation with G-CSF and the subsequent stimulation with IL-3. This evidence suggests that the hematopoietic progenitor cells in patients with congenital neutropenia have the potential for developing CFU-C in the combined stimulation with IL-3 and G-CSF, and that this growth may be dependent on the priming of IL-3 followed by the stimulation with G-CSF. The level of mature neutrophils in peripheral blood was not fully restored to normal levels by the daily administration of G-CSF in doses of 100 to 200 micrograms/m2 of body surface area for 20 to 25 days in both patients. These observations raise the possibility that the combination of IL-3 and G-CSF might have a potential role for the increase of neutrophil counts in patients with congenital neutropenia.